Today is the official release date for my new book, Interpreting the Civil War at Museums and Historic Sites with Rowman & Littlefield Press. This is a collection of essays authored by public historians and educators working at various sites on how their institutions approached interpreting the Civil War during the sesquicentennial. A good deal of work went into this volume and I couldn’t be more pleased to finally see it in print.
You can order Interpreting the Civil War direct from the publisher with a 30% discount. Just use the code: RLFANDF30 at checkout.
Special thanks go out to my amazing contributors, including Christy S .Coleman, Mark Benbow, Daniel Joyce, Douglas Dammann, Jennifer Edginton, James Percoco, John M. Rudy, W. Todd Groce, W. Eric Emerson, Dina Bailey and Nicole Moore. Their hard work helped to make my experience as editor as painless as possible. They met all of the deadlines and did an outstanding job of responding to my questions and comments.
As I mentioned a few months ago, this book is dedicated to my good friend John Hennessy. Over the years no one has taught me more about the intersection of history, memory, and public history than John.
In putting this book together, I was motivated by a few simple questions: How did museums and historic sites approach interpreting the sesquicentennial? What worked and what fell short? Where do we go from here. I wanted this book to be as much of a guide for public historians working on the front lines as possible.
At the same time it is clear to me that this book will appeal to anyone interested in Civil War memory and more specifically the current debate about the public display of Confederate iconography. The timing for the publication of this book could not be more appropriate.
Thanks to all of you who choose to purchase it.