WLRH Events

Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table: The Career and Influence of Civil War Historian Bruce Catton


Thursday, August 14, 2014


Jeffrey Ewing will showcase Civil War historian Bruce Catton with his interpretation and screening of the videotaped presentation of the 52nd Fortenbaugh Lecture (November 19, 2013) by David Blight, "Ambivalent about Tragedy: Bruce Catton's Civil War and Ours". Catton is regarded as second to none in his influence and body of work on the Civil War. Blight's lecture is much more than a cursory discussion of Catton. He focuses initially on Catton's huge impact on the Civil War centennial 50 years ago, contrasting the centennial celebration then with our current sesquicentennial celebration. The discussion will appeal to anyone and everyone, men and women alike, interested in history and the presentation of history. It does not deal with Civil War tactics or strategy. Rather, it is about how a historian can become influential by interpreting our history and giving a "human condition" meaning to the events. And, it is about how Catton revolutionized the way people commemorate the Civil War – an impact that we can see in the type of events we have been organizing and attending during this sesquicentennial period. For those who want more than the minutiae of battles, uniforms, and weapons, Catton’s books offer a human and cerebral account of the war. And Blight's discussion of Catton is humorous and touching. With Jeff facilitating the presentation, this will be an evening for a wide range of interests, gentlemen and gentlewomen, and middle and high school students. Presented by the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table, this free program will be held Thursday, August 14, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 725 Franklin St., Huntsville.

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