Birmingham Public Library
2100 Park Place
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
http://www.bplonline.org
Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War
Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War
A hundred and fifty years after the defining war in our nation's history, we are still discovering its meanings.
- Edward L. Ayers from Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War - Essay pdf
The Birmingham Public Library will host a free five-part reading and discussion series called Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War. In commemoration of the Civil War sesquicentennial, the series encourages participants to consider the legacy of the Civil War and emancipation.
The program Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War consists of group discussion events held at the library on the following works:
Let's Talk About It
  • March by Geraldine Brooks (Penguin, 2006)
  • Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam by James McPherson (Oxford University Press, 2002)
  • America's War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on Their 150th Anniversaries edited by Edward L. Ayers (American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities, 2012)
The series is open to all adults in the community (registration is required) and is led by Dr. Victoria E. Ott, Associate Professor of History at Birmingham-Southern College and author of Confederate Daughters: Coming of Age during the Civil War.
Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War series is developed by the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Local support for the series is provided by the Alabama Humanities Foundation and the Birmingham Public Library.
Need Help? Contact us at bplevents@bham.lib.al.us or (205) 226-3604.
Schedule
Part One - Imagining War March 15, 2012
Part Two - Choosing Sides March 29, 2012
Part Three - Making Sense of Shiloh April 12, 2012
Part Four - The Shape of War April 26, 2012
Part Five - War of Freedom May 10, 2012
TIME: 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
WHERE: Arrington Auditorium in the Central Branch of the Birmingham Public Library. central
Reading List
Part One: Imagining War
  • Geraldine Brooks, March [2005]
  • Readings from America's War [2012]
    • Louisa May Alcott, "Journal kept at the hospital, Georgetown, D.C." [1862]   *online*
Part Two: Choosing Sides
  • Readings from America's War [2012]
    • Frederick Douglass, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" [1852]   *online*
    • Henry David Thoreau, "A Plea for Captain John Brown" [1859]   *online*
    • Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address [March 4, 1861]   *online*
    • Alexander H. Stephens, "Cornerstone" speech [March 21, 1861]   *online*
    • Robert Montague, Secessionist speech at Virginia secession convention [April 1-2, 1861]   *online*
    • Chapman Stuart, Unionist speech at Virginia secession convention [April 5, 1861]   *online*
    • Elizabeth Brown Pryor, excerpt from Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through his Private Letters [2007]
    • Mark Twain, "The Private History of a Campaign That Failed" [1885]   *online*
    • Sarah Morgan, excerpt from The Diary of a Southern Woman [May 9, May 17, 1862]   *online*
Part Three: Making Sense of Shiloh
  • Readings from America's War [2012]
    • Ambrose Bierce, "What I Saw of Shiloh" [1881]   *online*
    • Ulysses Grant, excerpt from the Memoirs [1885]   *online*
    • Shelby Foote, excerpt from Shiloh [1952]
    • Bobbie Ann Mason, "Shiloh" [1982]
    • General Braxton Bragg, speech to the Army of the Mississippi [May 3, 1862]
Part Four: The Shape of War
  • James M. McPherson, Crossroad of Freedom: Antietam [2002]
  • Readings from America's War [2012]
    • Drew Gilpin Faust, excerpt from This Republic of Suffering: Death and the Civil War [2008]
    • Gary W. Gallagher, "The Net Result of the Campaign was in Our Favor: Confederate Reaction to 1862 Maryland Campaign" [1999]
Part Five: War and Freedom
  • Readings from America's War [2012]
    • Abraham Lincoln, address on colonization [1862]   *online*
    • John M. Washington, "Memorys [sic] of the Past" [1873]   *online*
    • Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation [1863]   *online*
    • Frederick Douglass, "Men of Color, To Arms!" [March 1863]   *online*
    • Abraham Lincoln, letter to James C. Conkling [1863]   *online*
    • Abraham Lincoln, letter to Albert G. Hodges [1864]   *online*
    • Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address [1863]   *online*
    • James S. Brisbin, report on U.S. Colored Cavalry in Virginia [Oct. 2, 1864]   *online*
    • Colored Citizens of Nashville, Tennessee, Petition to the Union Convention of Tennessee Assembled in the Capitol at Nashville [January 9, 1865]   *online*
    • Margaret Walker, excerpt from Jubilee [1966]
    • Leon Litwack, excerpt from Been in the Storm So Long [1979]
    • Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, 1865   *online*
* Primary source material is available widely on the Internet. The anthology may contain text different from the linked sources. The URLs provided are for convenience only.
Need a printable version of the reading list and schedule? Look here pdf.
The Books
Geraldine Brooks
Penguin Books, 2006
ISBN: 9780143036661
James M. McPherson
Oxford University Press, 2002
ISBN: 9780195173307
Edward L. Ayers, editor
American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities, 2012
ISBN: 9780195173307
 
The Local Scholar
Dr. Victoria E. Ott
Associate Professor of History
Birmingham-Southern College
Confederate Daughters: Coming of Age during the Civil War
Victoria E. Ott
Southern Illinois University Press, 2008
ISBN: 9780809328284
 
Library Resources
See more like this on BPL's
American Civil War subject guide.
Birmingham Public Library Birmingham Public Library   Alabama Humanities Foundation Alabama Humanities Foundation
  National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Humanities
  American Library Association American Library Association
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