Summer Listening: Civil War History

May 13, 2024

Summer Listening: Civil War History

The American Idea podcast has well over 100 archived episodes, and we thought it would be helpful to curate some into topical lists so that if you find yourself on a family driving vacation this summer and you simply cannot take another Taylor Swift song, you have something else to offer your passengers. This is the first in a series of posts for summer 2024.

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John Brown: American Extremist – Get some vital background information on the man, the abolition movement, and how his raid on Harper’s Ferry directly contributed to the outbreak of war.

The Miracle of Lincoln’s 1860 Nomination – How did Lincoln secure the Republican nomination for president in 1860? Do you know how close the race was? And how did the politics of the summer of 1860 set up the turmoil of the elections that November?

“To Address You As My Friend”: African-Americans’ Letters to Abraham Lincoln – What did African-Americans think of Lincoln during his time as president? How did he relate to this diverse population of Americans? Dig into long-overlooked original letters and correspondence to understand.

The Final Emancipation Proclamation – One of the most important orders in American history, Lincoln’s directive established the groundwork for the abolishment of slavery forever in America.

The Battle of Gettysburg – The “high water mark” of the Confederacy, and the most famous battle of the war. Get to know Gettysburg in depth to better understand why it has these labels, and what it meant then, and what it can mean to us now.

Don’t Forget About Vicksburg – Although it took place around the same time as Gettysburg, this battle is often forgotten in popular thought and histories. Learn why, for strategic and military purposes, this campaign in Mississippi was, arguably, more important than what happened at Gettysburg.

The Gettysburg Address at 160 Years – Lincoln sought to redefine the war in November 1863, and in so doing point Americans then, and now back to the Founding and its timeless ideals.

American Portraits: U.S. Grant – Soldier, general, president: Grant is essential to understanding the late 19th Century, and in this episode we host a scholar who will help you get to know this often-misunderstood and miscast hero of our history.

Heroes of the Civil War – Meet some famous and lesser-known heroes of the Civil War.

American Exceptionalism and the Civil War – American, founded on the idea of equal, natural rights and limited government, had failed a portion of our population up to that point in our history. What was it about America’s founding ideals that, despite this failure, provided the foundation for righting that wrong?