CENFAD Lecture Series: Dr. Elizabeth R. Varon, "Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War"

Casey VanSise Discussion

The Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy (CENFAD) at Temple University is proud to present a lecture and question-and-answer session with Elizabeth R. Varon, Professor of American History at the University of Virginia.

Dr. Varon received her PhD from Yale University, and has held teaching positions at Wellesley College and Temple University. A specialist in the Civil War era and nineteenth-century American South, Varon is the author of We Mean to be Counted: White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia (The University of North Carolina Press, 1998); Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, A Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy (Oxford University Press, 2003), which won three book awards and was named one of the “Five Best” books on the “Civil War away from the battlefield” in The Wall Street JournalDisunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859 (The University of North Carolina Press, 2008); Appomattox: Victory, Defeat and Freedom at the End of the Civil War (Oxford University Press, 2013), which won the 2014 Library of Virginia Literary Award for Nonfiction and was named one of National Public Radio’s “Six Civil War Books to Read Now”; and, most recently, Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War (Oxford University Press, 2019), which won the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, was named one of The Wall Street Journal's best books of 2019, and is the subject of her CENFAD lecture.

Varon argues that the Union was motivated to fight not only to free the enslaved, but also to redeem white Southerners from the tyranny of the planter class and the slaveholding economy. This "politics of deliverance" helped unify the North and contributed to the Union victory, but it failed to grapple with resistance from white Southerners, who rejected the North’s terms and undermined Reconstruction. Interweaving military and social history, Varon offers new perspectives on the attitudes, goals, and frustrations of both sides.

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 24 | 4-5 PM EST
Gladfelter 914 (Weigley Room)

Zoom (free registration required):