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The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877 - Video

By David Blight

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(HIST 119) This course explores the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War, from the 1840s to 1877. The primary goal of the course is to understand the multiple meanings of a transforming event in American history. Those meanings may be defined in many ways: national, sectional, racial, constitutional, individual, social, intellectual, or moral. Four broad themes are closely examined: the crisis of union and disunion in an expanding republic; slavery, race, and emancipation as national problem, personal experience, and social process; the experience of modern, total war for individuals and society; and the political and social challenges of Reconstruction. This course was recorded in Spring 2008.

Customer Reviews

A Great Series of Lectures

I thoroughly enjoyed these lectures. They were delivered clearly by a competent public speaker. The lectures bring insight into the Civil War, its causees, its progression, its results, its legacies. An excellent learning expperience. If you are looking for a series about the battles occuring during the war, this is not it. But if you are looking for insight into the one of the most significant events to form the American character, then these are the lectures to hear.

Civil War

This is a most wonderful lecture series. You can also download the syllabus at Open Yale courses and follow the material more closely. Professor Blight is a compelling lecturer who has mixed many historical , contemporary, and literary resources into a remarkable narrative. Fredrick Douglas, Lousa May Alcott, Walt Whitman, E.L. Doctorow, Eric Foner, James McPherson, and Nicholas Lemann are several of the threads that Blight weaves into the course lectures. If you are fascinated with the times then this course will fascinate you further.

Fantastic series of lectures

For anyone interested in the Civil War and Reconstruction, Blight does a terrific job of providing his insights and color of the underlying causes of the conflict. Even lacking video of his displays, this series is compelling and not to be missed. I was sad to find that I had listened to all the lectures and even went back to relisten to some that were particularly interesting. Blight repeatedly asks the question: Why do so many people find the Civil War to be so interesting? One answer is clearly that people like Blight make it so interesting!!!