Gary Gallagher and The Enduring Civil War—An Exclusive Interview

Few would argue that Gary Gallagher has been one of the most influential voices in Civil War history over the past four decades. As a scholar, he’s made a point to remain firmly connected with the broader, non-academic Civil War community, producing insightful, accessible research. One of his most high-profile endeavors has been his regular column in Civil War Times, which editor Dana Shoaf calls “a critical element” of the magazine.

Gallagher’s columns have been collected into a new book, The Enduring Civil War: Reflections on the Great American Crisis (LSU Press, 2020), available this week (Sept. 2 to be exact!). The book collects more than 70 of Gallagher’s columns, framed by several new short introductory pieces. The book’s introduction, also new, is alone worth the price of the book.

Gary was kind enough spend some time chatting with me the other day about The Enduring Civil War; his long, influential career; the gap between academics and “buffs”; and a whole lot more.


11 Responses to Gary Gallagher and The Enduring Civil War—An Exclusive Interview

  1. That was fun, what a great interview! It was so nice for Chris Mackowski to allow Gary Gallagher to give full answers to his wonderful questions and not interrupt. I will have to get a copy of this book. Well done.

  2. Nice interview. I was at the University of VA for a week for a Gilder Lehrman teaching seminar and Professor Gallagher was a joy.

  3. Very enjoyable interview. Great questions with full answers. I believe there are more than two birdhouses. There are several in the middle of learning about history. In addition I like Gramham Crackers and milk as long as there is some peanutbutter.

  4. A wonderful and insightful interview. I wish everyone in this country could listen to his comments at the end of the interview on the need for historical perspective in terms of what confronts us today.

  5. Once again, Dr. Gallagher delivers in a witty and learning filled interview. I have been reading Civil War Times for many years and have always enjoyed his columns as they have always made me think and exposed me to new books to read. I was very interested in his comments about academic historians and history buffs and was interested to hear him say that he has tried to have one foot in both worlds. After all is that not what great historians do.

  6. Chris:

    Thanks for a great interview.

    I think you’ll agree that interviewing Gallagher is a pretty easy task. He is not only an accomplished scholar but also an engaging public speaker. I have listened on-line to many of his lectures and other public speaking events, and he is always interesting. He intersperses his vast knowledge of the CW with humor and humbleness. Those three qualities come out superbly in your interview.

    I can’t wait to buy a copy of his new book.

    Thanks again for the interview.

  7. This was a wonderful interview Chris. I love Gary Gallagher’s Civil War campaign books–I have all of them–and he is such an engaging, funny, brilliant, and deep thinker and speaker. And I am in the middle of that divide you touch on in the interview. I am a huge civil war buff, originally drawn to the military aspect of things, following and writing a book about my great-great grandfather’s story in the 65th NY Volunteer Infantry, but I teach high school AP American History and an elective on the Civil War and so I also try hard to stay up on the academic scholarship. It is so great to hear Gary praise Bruce Catton–it brings hope that the divide between academia and buffdom need not be so wide. I am certainly going to get his book.

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