Thank you to The American Civil War Museum for providing a venue for this evening's event!
A portion of tonight's sales goes to benefit The Museum.
Listen to a positive, engaging discussion about how we represent and interpret history going forward.
Ben Cleary is a writer, teacher, and historian who lives in Mechanicsville, Virginia. A former Virginia park ranger, Cleary penned a series of articles about Jackson and the Civil War for the New York Times Disunion series in 2012 & 2013 that were the genesis of this book.
Evans D. Hopkins grew up in Danville, Virginia, and divides his time between there and Richmond, Virginia, where he worksas a freelance writer. His pieces have appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Slate, Nerve.com, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, In These Times, and Southern Exposure, among others. His writing has been anthologized in several volumes, including the Prentice Hall Reader, Graywolf Press's The Private I, and The Best of Nerve.com. Life After Life is his first full-length book.
Historian Ben Cleary takes readers beyond the legend of Stonewall Jackson and directly onto the Civil War battlefields on which he fought, and where a country once again finds itself at a crossroads.
Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was the embodiment of Southern contradictions. He was a slave owner who fought and died, at least in part, to perpetuate slavery, yet he founded an African-American Sunday School and personally taught classes for almost a decade. For all his sternness and rigidity, Jackson was a deeply thoughtful and incredibly intelligent man. But his reputation and mythic status, then and now, was due to more than combat success. In a deeply religious age, he was revered for piety that was far beyond the norm. How did one man meld his religion with the institution of slavery? How did he reconcile it with the business of killing, at which he so excelled?
In SEARCHING FOR STONEWALL JACKSON, historian Ben Cleary examines not only Jackson's life but his own, contemplating what it means to be a white Southerner in the 21st century. Now, as statues commemorating the Civil War are toppled and Confederate flags come down, Cleary walks the famous battlefields, following in the footsteps of his subject as he questions the legacy of Stonewall Jackson and the South's Lost Cause at a time when the contentions of politics, civil rights, and social justice are at a fever pitch.
Combining nuanced, authoritative research with deeply personal stories of life in the modern American South, SEARCHING FOR STONEWALL JACKSON is a thrilling, vivid portrait of a soldier, a war, and a country still contending with its past.