Historian speaking at Fargo TheatrePulitzer Prize-winning Civil War historian and North Dakota native Dr. James McPherson will present a free public keynote address at the historic Fargo Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 16. An Evening with James McPherson, which begins at 7 p.m., is sponsored by Read North Dakota as part of the consortium’s focus on nonfiction books in 2008. McPherson won the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for his epic work, “Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era”, which is widely regarded as the best one-volume history of the Civil War.
Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War historian and North Dakota native Dr. James McPherson will present a free public keynote address at the historic Fargo Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 16. An Evening with James McPherson, which begins at 7 p.m., is sponsored by Read North Dakota as part of the consortium’s focus on nonfiction books in 2008.
McPherson won the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for his epic work, “Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era”, which is widely regarded as the best one-volume history of the Civil War.
McPherson was born in Valley City, N.D., in 1936 and has family roots in Page, N.D.
The theme of McPherson’s address will be “Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief”, which is the title of his new book to be published in early October.
“His functions as commander in chief have been undertreated compared to many other aspects of his life and career,” said McPherson.
Prairie Public Broadcasting will air McPherson’s program on its radio network on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 3 and 7 p.m. It will also be broadcast on the television network of Prairie Public on Thursday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m. The program will be able to be viewed after these dates on a videostream, as well as in audio format, on Prairie Public’s Web site at www.prairiepublic.org.
Earlier on Oct. 16, McPherson will hold a seminar with area college students at Prairie Public Studios in Fargo. Also sponsored by Read North Dakota, the seminar will begin at 1 p.m. and will be podcast within 48 hours on the Read North Dakota Web site at www.readnd.org . Students and faculty will participate from North Dakota State University, the University of North Dakota, Concordia College and the Fargo-Moorhead Communiversity. The seminar will be moderated by Prairie Public Director of Television Bob Dambach, assisted by Dr. Jerome Tweton, senior consultant to the North Dakota Humanities Council.
“With the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth approaching in early 2009, the members of Read North Dakota are delighted to have the opportunity to feature a North Dakota native who has gone on to achieve international recognition for his scholarship on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War,” said Brenna Daugherty, executive director of the North Dakota Humanities Council.
McPherson is the George Henry Davis ‘86 Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University in New Jersey. In addition to his best-selling “Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era”, he has written and edited many other books about the Civil War, Lincoln and abolition, and has written essays and reviews for several national publications. He earned his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., in 1963, and bachelor of art’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., in 1958.
“James McPherson is the master historian of the Civil War in our time,” said Gabor Boritt, Director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, and author of the award-winning book, The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech that Nobody Knows.
A listing of North Dakota-related non-fiction books is available on the Read North Dakota Web site at www.readnd.org . The list of the top 10 nonfiction books covers a variety of topics, from Lewis and Clark, homesteading and American Indian culture to George Armstrong Custer, the Nonpartisan League, and Gordon Kahl.
All publications are in print and available at local libraries and bookstores. Visit the Web site http://www.readnd.org and add to the recommended reading list of nonfiction. Readers are encouraged to include comments on the website discussion board.
Read North Dakota is a consortium of members, including the State Historical Society of North Dakota, North Dakota Humanities Council, North Dakota Council on the Arts, Prairie Public Broadcasting, and the North Dakota Library Association. The group encourages readers, writers, and educators to enjoy good literature by identifying relevant book titles and authors on a Web site, in printed materials, and through public events and discussion groups. Visit www.readnd.org to learn more.