2/20/2012

Make Sense of the Civil War in a community conversation at the library

Kansas City (MO) Public Library News Release 

For details and registration instructions for this free program, visit kclibrary.org/civilwar.


Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War

In his first inaugural address, President Lincoln spoke in tones interpreted as conciliatory by some and as combative by the secessionist South. Just a few weeks later, Virginia State Senator Chapman Stuart argued that maintaining the Union was the best course to preserve slavery as an institution.

The Kansas City Public Library invites you to read the often surprising words spoken by President Lincoln, Chapman Stuart, and many others as part of a special book discussion series called Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War.

Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War is a scholar-led discussion series that commemorates the sesquicentennial of this conflict with a series of five community conversations, informed by great works of fiction and non-fiction as well as words written by civilians and combatants during the Civil War. 

Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War, a reading and discussion series, has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.

The Kansas City Public Library will host registered participants for conversations about featured readings with the guidance of UMKC history professor Diane Mutti Burke on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. starting in March 2012 at the Plaza Branch, located at 4801 Main St.

The Library has reserved copies of all required readings, available for check-out by registered participants. In addition to two Pulitzer Prize-winning authors (novelist Geraldine Brooks and historian James McPherson), participants will also read America’s War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on Their 150th Anniversaries – a collection of first-hand accounts about the war as well as speeches by the likes of Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and Henry David Thoreau that also includes excerpts of works by contemporary historians and authors.

This program is free, but space is limited. Registration is required (click to access the Registration Form). Participants are not required to attend all five discussion sessions, but may register for those particular sessions that either suit their interests and/or availability.

In partnership with the Civil War Round Table of Western Missouri, the Library presents the following series of discussions:

  • “IMAGINING WAR,” on March 12 – featuring discussions of March by Geraldine Brooks and Part One from the America’s War anthology edited by Edward L. Ayers.
  • “CHOOSING SIDES,” on April 2 – featuring a discussion of Part Two from the America’s War anthology edited by Edward L. Ayers.
  • “MAKING SENSE OF SHILOH,” on April 23 – featuring a discussion of Part Three from the America’s War anthology edited by Edward L. Ayers.
  • “THE SHAPE OF WAR,” on May 7 – featuring a discussion of Crossroads of Freedom by James McPherson and Part Four from the America’s War anthology edited by Edward L. Ayers.
  • “WAR AND FREEDOM,” on May 21 – featuring a discussion of Part Five from the America’s War anthology edited by Edward L. Ayers.

 

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