A discussion with Pulitzer Prize winner Alan Taylor

Cover of AMERICAN CIVIL WARS

History lovers, this is for you! 

A two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Alan Taylor

is one of our most distinguished and widely read historians.

Alan will discuss and take questions about his newest book

American Civil Wars: A Continental History, 1850-1873

 

In American Civil Wars, Taylor covers two decades that shook North America, shaped the destinies of three nations, and sent shockwaves affecting global powers. 

By 1850, the United States stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific and had become an actor on the world stage. But divisions within undermined the nation’s power and unity. The expansion of slavery generated sectional divisions that roiled American politics and finally erupted in a bloody civil war. That American Civil War had repercussions across North America, changing the continental power dynamics to magnify instabilities in Mexico and Canada.

Still tied to the British empire, Canadian leaders feared that the conflict within the United States would spill northward as the Union sought to annex Canada. They also faced growing internal tensions between Francophones and Anglophones. To the south, Mexico was struggling to recover from the war with the United States while embroiled in brutal hostilities between Conservative and Liberal forces. Preoccupied by the American Civil War, Union leaders could not block European interference in Mexico. France’s Napoleon III helped Conservatives overthrow the Liberal government of Benito Juárez, replacing him with Maximilian, an Austrian archduke who became the emperor of Mexico.

In lucid, fast-moving, absorbing prose, AMERICAN CIVIL WARS expertly combines big-picture political, military, and cultural analysis alongside the drama of emancipation and vivid character portraits—from Juárez, Abraham Lincoln, Jane McManus Cazneau, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, Jane Grey Swisshelm, Jefferson Davis, the Canadian leaders John A. Macdonald and D’Arcy McGee and key Black abolitionists such as Martin Delany and Mary Ann Shadd. Alongside fascinating detail on political and military decision-making, Taylor includes the stories of Black soldiers fighting for the Union, Native Americans struggling to preserve their homelands in the American West, women fortifying the home front and enduring the deprivations of war, and newly arrived immigrants thrust into the maelstrom of civil war. Ever attuned to the experiences of individuals amid the contests of soaring ideals, sordid politics, and violent battles, AMERICAN CIVIL WARS offers a masterful, kaleidoscopic history of this pivotal era in the history of our continent.

Alan TaylorAlan Taylor, twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history, is the author of American Revolutions and American Republics, prior volumes in his acclaimed continental history of the United States.

He is Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor of History at University of Virginia, and lives in Charlottesville.

Event date: 

Saturday, June 1, 2024 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Event address: 

10464 Ridgefield Pkwy.
Gleneagle Center
Henrico, VA 23223
American Civil Wars: A Continental History, 1850-1873 By Alan Taylor Cover Image
$39.99
ISBN: 9781324035282
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 21st, 2024

American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 By Alan Taylor Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780393354768
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 26th, 2017

American Republics: A Continental History of the United States, 1783-1850 By Alan Taylor Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781324021803
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 17th, 2022

The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies By Alan Taylor Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780679776734
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - October 4th, 2011

The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution By Alan Taylor Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781400077076
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 9th, 2007

The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 By Alan Taylor Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780393349733
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 2nd, 2014