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Pulitzer-winning Civil War scholar to speak

February 28th, 2008

Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief
March 5, 6 p.m.
Speed Art Museum, 2035 S. Third St. Parking is available for $3 in the adjacent garage off Third Street.
Admission to the lecture is free and open to the public


Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Civil War expert James McPherson will talk about Abraham Lincoln’s wartime leadership during his University of Louisville lecture.

McPherson will outline how Lincoln became a more actively participating commander in chief than any other U.S. wartime president and will discuss Lincoln’s actions in war policy, national strategy, military strategy and military operations. He plans to talk about Lincoln’s relationships with key military commanders such as Ulysses Grant and George Gordon Meade, and also will discuss the issues of slavery and emancipation as key features of Union strategy.

McPherson won the Pulitzer in 1989 for his Civil War history “Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era.” He is Princeton University’s George Henry Davis 1886 professor emeritus of American history; he joined Princeton’s faculty in 1962. McPherson is former president of the Society of American Historians and the American Historical Association, and he has been the 2000 Jefferson lecturer for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

His 16 books include “For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War,” which won the Lincoln Prize in 1998, and “This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War,” published last year. His next book, set to be published this fall, has the same title as his UofL lecture.

McPherson’s talk is a Gottschalk lecture. The history department sponsors the Gottschalk lectures, named for a former UofL professor who later served as president of the American Historical Association. Other sponsors of McPherson’s talk include the Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society and the Speed Art Museum. The lecture also is one of the College of Arts and Sciences’ “Life of the Mind” series of special events begun during its centennial celebration.

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