by Andrew Crisp
The bloody American Civil War and its effects on the United States are the focus of a forthcoming reading program, presented by the Idaho Humanities Council in partnership with the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State. The FREE series will examine three books in five, two-hour book discussions at the end of October and beginning of November.
Texts include the Pulitzer Prize-winning book March by Geraldine Brooks, which tells its story through the characters of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women; Edward L. Ayers' America's War, a collection of work from Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln and others; and James McPherson's Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam, which tells the story of the pivotal 1862 battle.
Scholars, including the Andrus Center's Director David Adler and President Marc Johnson, along with Boise State History Professor Lisa Brady, will lecture and lead discussions.
The program, Making Sense of the Civil War, was developed by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association, to start a dialogue 150 years after the country's defining war.
IHC will loan the required books, it just asks participants to commit to all five meetings. Those interested are invited to submit contact information and a brief paragraph about why they wish to participate by Friday, August 24.
The IHC suggests that interested folks get a taste of Ayers' work with the essay "Making Sense of the American Civil War," which is available on its website.