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Making Sense of the American Civil War   Tags: activities, adults, book_clubs, book_discussion_groups, books, history, learning, reading, reading_groups, us  

Join us for this four-part book discussion series. Discover one of the most formative eras of our nation's history as we uncover the many perspectives of the American Civil War.
Last Updated: Oct 1, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Let's Talk About It!


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Made possible in part by the Ohio Humanities Council,
a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


What is "Making Sense of the American Civil War"?

From the moment Americans found themselves pulled into a civil war of unimaginable scale and consequence, they tried desperately to make sense of what was happening to them. From the secession crisis into the maelstrom of battle, from the nightmare of slavery into the twilight of emancipation, Americans of all backgrounds confronted the chaos with stories to explain how things had come to be. People continued to tell themselves those stories about the war and its meaning for the next century and a half, and they probably always will.

Join us as we read those words written and uttered by powerful voices from the past and present during this four-part book discussion series. Discover one of the most formative eras of our nation's history as award-winning American military historian, author and professor of history at OSU, Dr. Mark Grimsley leads participants to uncover the many perspectives of the American Civil War.


Series Dates & Times

There will be four sessions of events to attend.

Part One: Choosing Sides
Saturday, September 15    2:00-4:00pm

Part Two: Making Sense of Shiloh
Saturday, October 6    2:00-4:00pm

Part Three: The Shape of War
Saturday, October 20    2:00-4:00pm

Part Four: War and Freedom
Saturday, November 3    2:00-4:00pm

For more information and to register,visit our Events calendar.

The Books

Book Discussion Kits for this series are available at the Adult Services Desk in the library. Books may be checked out through the Westerville Library or are available for purchase at the Polaris Barnes and Noble or online through Amazon.

Cover Art
America's War - Edward L. Ayers (Editor)
Call Number: 973.7 AME
These readings provide a glimpse of the vast sweep and profound breadth of Americans' war among and against themselves, adding crucial voices to our understanding of the war and its meaning.

Cover Art
Crossroads of Freedom - James M. McPherson
Call Number: 973.7336 MCP
Paints a masterful account of this pivotal battle, the events that led up to it, and its aftermath. McPherson reconstructs the gripping Battle of Antietam, which remains the single bloodiest day in the history of American combat. Through historical newspaper accounts and the personal letters of soldiers, the events leading up to the battle and the battle itself are stunningly re-created.

Cover Art
March - Geraldine Brooks
In a story inspired by the father character in "Little Women" and drawn from the journals and letters of Louisa May Alcott's father, a man leaves behind his family to serve in the Civil War and finds his beliefs challenged by his experiences. March is a powerful meditation on America during the chaos of the Civil War.


Related Events at the Westerville Library

Ohio Generals and Presidents
Ohio Historical Society Exhibit

Saturday, September 15 from 10am - 6pm
Library's Local History Center

Stop in for an up-close look at Civil War-era history. View Ulysses S. Grant’s document box, shoulder straps from two uniforms worn by William Tecumseh Sherman, William McKinley’s presidential campaign buttons and more, in this traveling collection. A curator from the Ohio Historical Society will answer questions.

The Art of the Historical Novel
with Geraldine Brooks
Monday, November 12
Presentation: 7pm, Meet and Greet: 8pm
Riley Auditorium at Otterbein University

Former Wall Street Journal war correspondent and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks will explain the art of creating historical fiction and discuss her novel March, a powerful meditation on the chaos of the Civil War.

For more information and to reserve your seat, visit our Events calendar.


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