Sep 12, 2017
Was Presidential Leadership Decisive in Determining the Outcome of the Civil War?
A Discussion with William J. Cooper and Richard Carwardine
In the third podcast of Arguing History, historians William J. Cooper and Richard Carwardine address the question of the role presidential leadership played in determining the outcome of the American Civil War. Considering the respective positions of both Abraham Lincoln and his Confederate counterpart Jefferson Davis, they discuss the respective backgrounds of the two men, the political environment in which each of them operated, their relationship to their military commanders, and their contributions to the questions of slavery and emancipation as they pertained to the war. In discussing their abilities and actions, Carwardine and Cooper describe some of the important ways in which the two men shaped the conflict and its legacy for us today, in ways both intended and unexpected. William J. Cooper is Boyd Professor of History emeritus at Louisiana State University and the author of several books about American history, including Jefferson Davis, American; We Have the War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861; and, most recently, The Lost Founding Father: John Quincy Adams and the Transformation of American Politics. Richard Carwardine is Rhodes Professor of American History emeritus and the former President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford University. Among his works are Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power and his newest book, Lincoln's Sense of Humor.