Dan’s Report from the 129th American Historical Association Annual Meeting

Historically Speaking

I had the pleasure of attending the American Historical Association’s annual meeting in New York City from January 3-5, 2015. In this article, I’ll discuss two of the panels I observed, one of which featured Villanova’s very own Dr. Judith Giesberg, and some general observations from the conference.

A James McPherson Retrospective

Dr. Giesberg participated in a panel sponsored by the Society for Civil War Historians about the legacy of James McPherson’s seminal Civil War book, Battle Cry of Freedom. The panel also featured historians Lesley Gordon, Michael Landis, Daniel Sutherland, and McPherson himself. McPherson opened the panel by describing how Richard Hofstadter, C. Van Wodward, and Sheldon Meyer created the Oxford History of the United States series, and how he was picked to write the Civil War edition after many authors failed to get the book deal.

Michael Landis then offered an opening critique: Battle Cry is…

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