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Civil War Trust

The Fate of This Republic

Today's Top Historians Discuss the Civil War

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The Civil War Trust's own Clayton Butler recently had the opportunity to sit down with four of the most distinguished scholars in the field of Civil War history – Dr. James McPherson of Princeton University, Dr. Gary Gallagher of the University of Virginia, Dr. Stephen Berry of the University of Georgia and Dr. Joseph Glatthaar of the University of North Carolina. They shared their thoughts on the state of current Civil War scholarship and the compelling nature of Civil War history for scholars and the general public alike. As these historians make clear, the field of Civil War history has only strengthened as it has expanded, and continues to be heir to an extraordinarily rich tradition of first-rate scholarship and research.

Click on the links below to delve deeper into the thoughts, opinions and insights of some of the best Civil War minds of this generation.



"You can’t understand the Civil War – you can only pretend to – without really understanding military affairs."
- Gary Gallagher

"I had always thought that that was a kind of duty of historians…to speak to an audience beyond the academy."
- James McPherson

"Preserving battlefields. I think that’s the single greatest contribution of the last twenty years!"
- Joseph Glatthaar

"If you don’t think the war is at root about slavery then there’s the Flat Earth Society, who will be taking members."
- Stephen Berry

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