OGDEN, Utah – On the 150th anniversary of the conflict, a pair of Weber State University faculty will facilitate an upcoming reading and discussion program focused on the Civil War.
History professors Richard Sadler and Branden Little will spearhead “Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War,” which will take place starting Jan. 18 at the Pleasant Valley Library (5568 Adams Ave., Ogden). Subsequent sessions are scheduled for Feb. 8 and 29, March 21, and April 11 and 25. All begin at 7 p.m.
The program is an opportunity for people to “enjoy talking about the Civil War through the cold winter nights,” Sadler said.
“This is a look back at what happened in 1861 and 1862. The first shots were fired in April 1861 in Fort Sumter, and we were on with the war,” he said.
The books for the series include “March” by Geraldine Brooks, “Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam” by James McPherson, and “America’s War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on Their 150th Anniversaries” by Edward Ayers (editor). Copies of the books can be checked out from the library on the first evening and, if needed, on following evenings of the program. The full program schedule will be discussed at the opening session and also is available at fortdouglas.org/civilwarseries.pdf.
The program will delve into the causes of the war, highlights of battles and the war’s aftermath.
“We’ll try to make sense of whether we are making progress in the things that people thought about and fought about back then,” Sadler said. “For example, we’ve made a lot of strides toward equal opportunity for African-Americans, to the point that 150 years ago a number of blacks in this country were not able to vote, but now there is an African-American president. That’s some substantial progress in opening up the government and the processes for everyone living in this country.”
Kathryn Pudlock, manager of the Pleasant Valley Branch of the Weber County Library system, is in charge of local and library arrangements.
The National Endowment for the Humanities, the Utah Humanities Council, the Fort Douglas Museum, the WSU history department and the Weber County Library are sponsoring the reading and discussion program.