The Columns

Historian James McPherson Lectures on Lincoln at W&L

— by on February 7th, 2010

One of America’s pre-eminent Civil War scholars, James M. McPherson, will present a lecture entitled “Lincoln’s Legacy for Our Time” at Washington and Lee University on Friday, Feb. 12, the 201st anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theatre of Elrod Commons under the sponsorship of the Apgar Foundation, the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity and the W&L politics department.

McPherson is the George Henry Davis ’86 Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University. He won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Battle Cry of Freedom, which was a New York Times bestseller. His book Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam (2002) was also a New York Times bestseller, and he won the 1998 Lincoln Prize for For Cause and Comrades. McPherson has authored more than a dozen books, and 100 major articles about the Civil War and the Civil War era.

The National Endowment for the Humanities named McPherson the 2000 Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities. In 2007, he won the inaugural Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military History. In 2009, he was the co-winner of the Lincoln Prize for Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief.

During his teaching career at Princeton, McPherson’s courses in the history department were consistently oversubscribed. He also led field trips to Civil War battle sites that drew large numbers of students and alumni. He plans to retire at the end of this academic year after serving on the Princeton faculty since 1962.

McPherson was 2003 president of the American Historical Association.

A native of North Dakota, McPherson received his bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.