Civil War author at Catawba forum Jan. 17

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Noted historian David Goldfield writes: “The Civil War killed 620,000 Americans, traumatized survivors, and devastated a vast swath of the country. The war was America’s greatest political failure. It was a tragic example of what happens when religious and ideological extremism captures the political process. Could the war have been averted? Could the grand results of that war — the liberation of four million slaves and the salvation of the Union — have been accomplished peacefully?” Goldfield will present his answers to those questions and more at the next Catawba College Community Forum on Tuesday evening, Jan. 17.
Born in Memphis and raised in Brooklyn, Goldfield is Robert Lee Bailey Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is the author of 16 books on various aspects of Southern and American history (“They’re different,” he notes on his website). His most recent book, “America Aflame,” appeared in March 2011. The New York Times called the book a “masterly synthesis of political, social, economic and religious history,” and added: “Most history books try to explain the past. The exceptional ones, of which ‘America Aflame’ is a distinguished example, remind us that the past is ultimately as inscrutable as the future.”
The Christian Science Monitor called the book, “a riveting, comprehensive, and delightful piece of historical writing.”
Other titles by Goldfield include “Still Fighting the Civil War,” “Cotton Fields and Skyscrapers” and “Black, White, and Southern.” Goldfield has been heard frequently on National Public Radio as well as other outlets.
Hear Goldfield at the next Catawba College Community Forum on Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Tom Smith Auditorium of Ralph W. Ketner Hall on the campus of Catawba College. Admission is free.