Heather Cox Richardson

Heather Cox Richardson
Lecture date
Originally aired: April 12th, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America

Heather Cox Richardson is professor of history at Boston College and an expert on American political and economic history. She is a leading #Twitterstorian, explaining the historical background of modern political issues through Twitter threads, and the co-editor of We’re History, a web magazine of popular history. Through her daily newsletter, “Letters From an American,” Richardson shares with over 350,000 readers an authoritative, compassionate overview of the previous day’s news. During a time filled with fear and uncertainty, Richardson’s newsletters have helped Americans share in the big-picture perspective that only a deep understanding of history can provide. Every night — after a full day of teaching, researching, and writing — Richardson assesses the day’s news and offers up an analysis of its significance to her grateful readers across the country.

Richardson is the author of six books on American politics including most recently How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America. While the North prevailed in the Civil War, ending slavery and giving the country a “new birth of freedom,” Richardson argues that democracy’s blood-soaked victory was ephemeral. The system that had sustained the defeated South moved westward and there established a foothold. To reveal why this happened, How the South Won the Civil War traces the story of the American paradox, the competing claims of equality and subordination woven into the nation’s fabric and identity. Debunking the myth that the Civil War released the nation from the grip of oligarchy, expunging the sins of the Founding, it reveals how and why the Old South not only survived in the West, but thrived.