Thanks to everyone who replied to my query about books they've used in teaching civil war/reconstruction. I submitted my book order for the fall NINE FULL HOURS before registration begins, and any time I meet a deadline lately is a victory. I'm so excited for this course. 1/
It's the first time I get to teach it in nearby 6 years. It was way hard to narrow down a manageable (and affordable) book list, but I comforted myself with the fact there will also be articles and primary sources to supplement the main readings. /2
A few folks asked me to tweet out my adoptions once I figured them out. So here we go (the course will have a thematic focus on race and violence as pillars of US history), as well as looking explicitly at connections w this era & the present. So here are the texts: /3
Going to use Reginald Horsman's Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Anglo-Saxonism. An older text, but one of the best unpackings of expansionism's dialectical links w the beginnings of "race science" in the US. /4
We'll also be reading @jbf1755's Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to the Civil War. Another "more relevant for today than we'd want" book, but I want students to see what a massively-researched yet beautifully-written monograph looks like. /5
For the secession crisis, we'll read Charles Dew, Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War. I've used this in previous classes, and its compelling portrayal of the deep links between secession and slavery is essential/6
For the war itself, I wanted a focus on the western theatre, so we'll read @megankatenelson's The Three-Cornered War. Nelson also incorporates a rich indigenous perspective, which will help set the stage for my class's work on the postwar West /7
We'll also read David Williams's I Freed Myself: African American Self-Emancipation in the Civil War Era, which is an eminently readable and compelling look at the Civil War as what DuBois called the greatest slave rebellion in world history. /8
Throughout the course, we'll also be reading essays from Don Doyle, ed., American Civil Wars: the US, Latin America, Europe, and the Crisis of the 1860s. I want to disrupt the American Exceptionalist paradigm my students have likely been immersed in. 🙂 /9
Also throughout much of the course, we'll be reading Thavolia Glymph's The Women's Fight: Civil War Battles for Home, Freedom, and Nation. I want my students to be able to analyze the ways in which conflicts along race, class, and especially gender lines shaped this era. /10
Finally, we'll be drawing a direct line to our present with @HC_Richardson's How the South Won the Civil War. As we immerse ourselves in Reconstruction's failed effort at interracial democracy, Richardson will help us see just how much that failure cost us. /11
Y'all, I'm so stoked for this class. It's nice to have something to look forward to next academic year amidst the misery that is our higher education landscape.
Thanks again to everyone who chipped in their suggestions and recommendations /fin

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