History Book Group: “How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America”
Decorah Public Library staff are hosting fiv book discussions in June. The groups are open to the public and newcomers are encouraged to attend. Anyone interested should call the library at 382-3717 to learn more or to reserve a book. Zoom links are available on the Library’s website or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to any of the groups’ email distribution lists. Funds for multiple copy sets were generously provided by Friends of Decorah Public Library.
The History Book Group will meet on the 2nd floor of the library Thurs. June 15 at 3:00 p.m. to discuss Heather Cox Richardson’s “How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America.” While the North prevailed in the Civil War, Heather Cox Richardson argues that democracy’s blood-soaked victory was ephemeral. The system that had sustained the defeated South moved westward and there established a foothold. Settlers from the East had for decades been pushing into the West, where the seizure of Mexican lands at the end of the Mexican-American War and treatment of Native Americans cemented racial hierarchies. The South and West equally depended on extractive industries-cotton in the former and mining, cattle, and oil in the latter-giving rise a new birth of white male oligarchy, despite the guarantees provided by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.
Focusing on these five women, Mary Elise Antoine explores the history of slavery in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, relying on legal documents, military records, court transcripts, and personal correspondence. Whether through perseverance, self-purchase, or freedom suits—including one suit that was used as precedent in Dred and Harriet Scott’s freedom suits years later—each of these women ultimately secured her freedom, thanks in part to the bonds they forged with one another.
For more information, contact Tricia Crary (Friday Book Group), Zach Row-Heyveld (Cookbook Book Group) or Kristin Torresdal (Happy Hour, History, and Speculative Fiction Book Groups) at 563-382-3717.
- Event Attendance Mode: Physical Event