Richards Center director Dr. Rachel Shelden recently participated in a podcast interview and a Facebook Live event where she discussed the state of Civil War-era political history and the era’s political environment. Dr. Adam Smith, director of the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University in the UK, interviewed Shelden for the institute’s podcast, The Last Best Hope of Earth? Understanding America From the Outside In. The podcast series’ title comes from the iconic line in President Lincoln’s 1862 message to Congress. It considers what “forces have shaped the culture and politics of the US, how its role in the world has changed, and what that future might be.” Smith and Shelden discussed Lincoln’s frontier upbringing, his political ideals, his attitudes on race and slavery, and how all of these shaped his vision of the nation’s possible future. You can follow this link to listen to the interview.
Dr. Shelden also joined Dr. Peter Carmichael, director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, and John Heckman, the Tattooed Historian, for a wide-ranging Facebook Live conversation touching on the robust state of the political history of the Civil War era and the political environment in the United States from the antebellum period through the Civil War. They discussed the mission of the Richards Center, creative new work being done in the political and military history of the Civil War era, and the exciting ways that historians are reaching out to the public through digital publishing, blogs, and podcasts. You can follow this link to the Facebook Live recording of their discussion.