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Book Breaks with Edward L. Ayers and "The Thin Light of Freedom"
Gilder Lehrman Book Breaks features the most exciting history scholars in America discussing their books with host William Roka live, followed by a Q&A with home audiences.

Join us online on Sunday, March 7 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET (11: 00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT) with Edward L. Ayers, as he discusses his book "The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America."

At the crux of America’s history stand two astounding events: the immediate and complete destruction of the most powerful system of slavery in the modern world, followed by a political reconstruction in which new constitutions established the fundamental rights of citizens for formerly enslaved people. Few people living in 1860 would have dared imagine either event, and yet, in retrospect, both seem to have been inevitable.

Edward L. Ayers restores the drama of the unexpected to the history of the Civil War, its pitched battles punctuating a cycle of vicious attack and reprisal in which armies burned whole towns for retribution. In the weeks and months after emancipation, from the streets of Staunton, Virginia, we see Black and White residents testing the limits of freedom as political leaders negotiate the terms of readmission to the Union.

Purchase books for Book Breaks at https://bookshop.org/lists/book-breaks.
All purchases support the Gilder Lehrman Institute and independent bookstores.

Everyone who registers will be sent a Zoom meeting link and instructions in the confirmation email.

For more information, please contact us at bookbreaks@gilderlehrman.org or visit us at gilderlehrman.org/bookbreaks.

Mar 7, 2021 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Edward L. Ayers
EDWARD AYERS is the Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities and President Emeritus at the University of Richmond. He has been named National Professor of the Year, received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama at the White House, served as president of the Organization of American Historians, and won the Bancroft Prize for distinguished writing in American history. He served as the founding chair of the board of the American Civil War Museum. Ed is host of "The Future of America’s Past," a television series that visits sites of memory and meets the people who keep those memories alive. He is the executive director of New American History, an online project based at the University, designed to help students and teachers to see the nation’s history in new ways. His newest book is "Southern Journey: The Migrations of the American South, 1790-2020."