This year the American Historical Association will mark the 25th anniversary of James McPherson Pulitzer Prize winning book, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era with a panel discussion that includes Judith Giesburg, Lesley Gordon, Michael Todd Landis,and Daniel E. Sutherland. McPherson will also be in attendance as the panel chair. Panelists will offer their thoughts and McPherson will likely respond with comments from the audience taking up what time is left. It is likely that the discussion will focus overwhelmingly on how the book shaped Civil War scholarship.
The book has achieved a level of notoriety beyond academe that is unmatched by any single Civil War study published since. The book’s popularity elevated McPherson to one of the most popular historians in the field.
With that in mind I want to ask you, dear reader, to share your thoughts about the book’s and McPherson’s influence on the scholarship and popular understanding of the Civil War era during the last twenty five years.