p>Long before the first shot of the Civil War was fired at Fort Sumter, violence was commonplace along the Missouri-Kansas border. A recurring cycle of robbery, arson, torture, murder, and revenge was established over the same issues that would fuel the larger conflict.
Jonathan Earle and Diane Mutti Burke, editors of the new book Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border, examine the lasting fallout of this "bloody" era on Tuesday, September 3, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Based on papers presented in the fall of 2011 at the Border Wars Conference at the Library, the volume brings together 15 scholars/essayists to analyze the region, the violence that besieged it, and its overall impact on the Civil War.
Three of those experts - the University of Tulsa's Kristin Oertel, Missouri State University's Jeremy Neely, and the University of Kansas' Jennifer Weber - will join Earle and Burke in a discussion that spans political, military, social, and intellectual history to explain why the region's divisiveness was so bitter and persisted for so long.
By defining both what united and divided the men and women who lived here, the speakers examine how political disagreement disintegrated into violence. And by focusing on contested definitions of liberty, citizenship, and freedom they explore how civil societies break down and how they are reconstructed when the conflict ends.
Jonathan Earle is an associate professor of history at the University of Kansas and the author of Jacksonian Antislavery and the Politics of Free Soil and John Brown's Raid: A Brief History with Documents.
Diane Mutti Burke is an associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the author of On Slavery's Border: Missouri's Small-Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. <