Preview: Gary Gallagher Interview

Gallagher-Enduring Civil WarGary Gallagher has a new book coming out next week, The Enduring Civil War: Reflections on the Great American Crisis (LSU Press, 2020). I was fortunate to sit down with Gary the other day to talk about the new book, and ECW will share that exclusive interview next Monday.

The Enduring Civil War compiles more than seventy of Gary’s articles from Civil War Times magazine, where he has served as an important link between the scholarly world and the wider Civil War community. For me, his column has always been a must-read feature of the magazine.

I asked Civil War Times editor Dana Shoaf—who has, himself, done a tremendous amount to bridge the gap between academia and public history—for his take on Gary’s column.

“Gary Gallagher’s provocative ‘Insight’ column is a critical element of Civil War Times,” Dana told me. “Whether investigating Civil War movies, the motivations of modern ‘Confederate Flaggers,’ or questioning the command record of Union Maj. Gen. John Reynolds, Gallagher uses his wealth of knowledge to drill down on diverse topics related to the war and challenge readers to keep thinking about the resonating conflict. It’s always a good day in the office when the column comes in for the issue we are putting together. Call this editor an eager reader of ‘Insight.'”

Gary told me that when Dana first approached him to write the column, Dana gave him complete editorial freedom to explore any topic he wanted to—so long as he kept it to 1,000 words. A necessity for any print publication, that word limit had the additional effect of making Gary’s piece’s especially impactful because they’re so incisive. As an example, check out Gary’s most recent column, “Leave Them Standing: Confederate monuments must remain at Gettysburg to help interpret the Civil War’s causes and consequences,” which offers an especially eloquent defense of the importance of monuments on battlefields.

Be sure to tune in next Monday, here and on the ECW YouTube page, for our exclusive conversation with Gary.

4 Responses to Preview: Gary Gallagher Interview

  1. Can’t wait to view the interview. Gallagher is one of the best Civil War historians living today. He has a quick and witty sense of humor, also.

  2. As an alum of the University of Virginia I have a particular fondness for Professor Gallagher and his work. He is an exceptional scholar, speaker and writer. His class at UVA was always full even at 8:00 in the morning. His two classes for The Great Courses show why. Having graduated while he was still at Penn St I didn’t get to take his classes at UVA so those were my substitute. And he is remarkably kind, funny and humble. There is no trace of academic condescension from him. His role as a “ bridge” is consistent with that. I look forward to buying this new book next week. I have pretty much every other one he has written or edited.

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