No other academic press series has taught me more about the Civil War era over the past twelve years than Gary Gallagher’s Civil War America, which is published by the University of North Carolina Press. He managed to bring together some of the most talented historians, many of who studied under Gallagher at either Penn State or University of Virginia. While it’s been a great run it looks like Gallagher is transitioning out of the position of editor of the series and handing the reins over to a new generation of Civil War scholars. I’ve known about this for quite some time, but was asked to hold off on announcing it until the change was made public.
The books that are now coming out include Peter Carmichael, Aaron Sheehan-Dean, and Caroline Janney as series editors. All three studied under Gallagher at UVA and all three have published their dissertations in the series (see here, here, and here). It’s fair to say that their scholarship, as well as many other books in the series, reflect Gallagher’s interest in the war in the East (Virginia) and the limits of Confederate nationalism and challenge to the “Lack of Will Thesis”. Taken together the three books referenced above explore Confederate nationalism on the home front, in the Army of Northern Virginia, and among women both during and after the war. I am looking forward to seeing how this new team moves forward. Will they continue to build on the themes that Gallagher has emphasized or will they move in a different direction?
Whatever they decide to do I have every reason to believe that the quality of the work published will remain consistent. I’ve worked with Aaron on two projects and Peter is the editor for the series that I will be published in at the University Press of Kentucky. Both have been a pleasure to work with. I wish all three the best with what I believe is the top academic Civil War series.