An Alive & Evolving History

The meaning of the Civil War Era continues to evolve.


The questions historians ask, the books we read, the museums we visit, and the movies we watch all reflect a modern sensibility about America’s most critical moment. And, as with the founding generation of the Lost Cause, our choices today on how to approach the Civil War just as often affirms a modern identity. 


Yet a curious person may want to explore new books, new sites, and new ways of thinking about not just the American Civil War era, but also about the ways we have understood it in the past.

What can I read?

Historians are currently producing an astonishing number of new works on the Civil War Era that expand the scope of what we think of as the Civil War.


>select reading lists with items that deliberately contradict LC assumptions and expand our view from Civil War to Civil War Era. Kevin Waite, Adrian, MKN, Andy whats-his-name, Thavolia… etc. 

Where can I visit?

Many sites that cover race, slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction are doing good interpretive work and invite visitors to see the Civil War from non-traditional angles. ACWM, ReconNPS, Fords, Lincoln’s Cottage, Whitney, Medical Museum. Don’t visit plantations that convey romance. Battlefields?

How can I help make change?

You may read, visit new sites, but you may also get out and help shape the memorial landscape yourself. Participate in a cemetery reclamation project; speak to your local government about monuments; sponsor a community conversation; always continue to ask questions that matter to you. 
>facilitation guide, Lost Cause id card.

Resource Roundup

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