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William Freehling, Visiting Scholar at W&L, to Give Public Lecture

William W. Freehling, the Robert S. Griffith ’52 Visiting Scholar in History at Washington and Lee University, will present a lecture on Monday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Chapel. The title of Dr. Freehling’s lecture is “Mysteries of the South’s Secession.”

The talk is free and open to the public.

He has taught at Berkeley and Harvard and held full professorships at the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins and endowed chairs at SUNY Buffalo and at the University of Kentucky. Now retired from a university career that brought him as many honors for teaching as for his books, Freehling is presently senior scholar in residence at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

He is the author of a two volume work titled “The Road to Disunion.” The second and concluding volume, published in 2007, is subtitled “Secessionist Triumphant 1854-1861” and completes a set of books which offer a major reinterpretation of the causes of the Civil War and of Confederate defeat.

Freehling’s current projects include a book of essays on the writing of “Road to Disunion” (forthcoming in 2008) and a reinterpretation of Abraham Lincoln’s early presidency (forthcoming in 2009).

Dr. Freehling will teach a spring term course at W&L, The Coming of the Civil War.

He received his A.B. from Harvard (where he wrote his honors thesis under Arthur Schlesinger Jr.), and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.