“Children, I said to her. For the first little while, they not exactly human, you don't find?”
Nalo Hopkinson

Monday, April 30, 2012

Totally Off Course In April

I'm supposed to be reading the classics.  I agreed to complete several challenges, but I let myself be pulled into The Hunger Games.  The first book was scary and I didn't finish it, but then I saw the film.  So after reading Catching Fire and Mockingjay, I am anxiously awaiting the next movie.  For me it's just as bad as my obsession with Harry Potter.

Then I ran across David Blight's course Hist 119: The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877 free on Itunes.  Find course here or on Itunes.  I became interested in with what happened during The Civil War that so I decided to listen to all the lectures and read some of the books. I am fascinated by how many men died on both sides, the nonsensical reasons the South gave for continuing slavery, and the devastating pain Sherman's march to the sea caused the civilian population.  How could countrymen  do such terrible things to one another?

The books to be read during the course are:

Why the Civil War Came
Garbor Boritt, David Blight

Half Slave and Half Free: The Roots of the Civil War
Bruce Levine

Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War
Charles R. Dew

Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War
Mack Walker, Drew G. Faust

The March
E. L. Doctorow

A Short History of Reconstruction, 1863-1877
Eric Foner

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
Frederick Douglass

The Confederate War: How Popular Will, Nationalism, and Military Strategy Could Not Stave Off Defeat
Gary Gallagher

Battle Cry of Freedom
James M. McPherson

Hospital Sketches
Louisa May Alcott

Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil War
Michael P. Johnson

Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War
Nicholas Lemann

Civil War and Reconstruction: A Documentary Collection
William Gienapp

Students also have to watch Ken Burns' Civil War documentary.

Currently I am reading The March and next will be Hospital Sketches, then I'll move along to The Narrative of Frederick Douglass.  Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War and Battle Cry of Freedom look interesting too.

Luckily, I won't have to take a test for the class 'cause I don't have the time or motivation to read all those books.  It's lovely stress-free learning.

I'll return to pursuing challenges in June.

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