Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War

Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War is a scholar-led discussion series that commemorates the sesquicentennial of this conflict with a series of community conversations, informed by great works of fiction and non-fiction as well as words written by civilians and combatants during the Civil War.

The Kansas City Public Library will host registered participants for conversations about featured readings with the guidance of UMKC history professor Diane Mutti Burke on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. starting in March 2012 at the Plaza Branch, located at 4801 Main St.

In addition to two Pulitzer Prize-winning authors (novelist Geraldine Brooks and historian James McPherson), participants will also read America’s War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on Their 150th Anniversaries edited by Edward L. Ayers – a collection of first-hand accounts about the war as well as speeches by the likes of Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and Henry David Thoreau that also includes excerpts of works by contemporary historians and authors.

In partnership with the Civil War Round Table of Western Missouri, the Library presents the following series of discussions:

“IMAGINING WAR,” on March 12 – featuring discussions of March by Geraldine Brooks and Part One from America’s War.

“CHOOSING SIDES,” on April 2 – featuring a discussion of Part Two from America’s War.

“MAKING SENSE OF SHILOH,” on April 23 – featuring a discussion of Part Three from America’s War.

“THE SHAPE OF WAR,” on May 7 – featuring a discussion of Crossroads of Freedom by James McPherson and Part Four from America’s War.

“WAR AND FREEDOM,” on May 21 – featuring a discussion of Part Five from America’s War.

Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War, a reading and discussion series, has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.