American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Gregory Downs: Did the Real War Ever Get in the Books?

Published October 18, 2011

Gregory Downs, City College of New York, City University of New York
Civil War @ 150: Did the Real War Ever Get in the Books?
CUNY Graduate Center
February 3, 2011

Introduced by Joshua Brown of ASHP/CML, Professor Downs presents the range of approaches taken by scholars over the last twenty-five years to discuss the American Civil War.  From debates on slavery and the slave South, to sectional conflict and Indian history, there existed pockets of energy on the conflict that decidedly changed, but remained fragmented.  While applauding the vast methodological openness of scholarship on the war, Downs argues that the scholarship suffered from a lack of engagement and analytical clarity. Today, scholars have chosen to take on new and interesting approaches to studying the war itself, and the world the war made.  Professor Downs is the author of the recently released publication, Declarations of Dependence: The Long Reconstruction of Popular Politics in the South, 1861-1908. This talk was part of the public seminar: Did the Real War Ever Get in the Books?

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