Prof. Tim Huebner, who has taught a variety of courses dealing with the history of the U.S. Constitution, the history of the American South, and the Civil War and Reconstruction Era, has published a new book, Liberty and Union: The Civil War Era and American Constitutionalism. The book, as Huebner states at the outset, is about “the relationship between the Civil War generation and the founding generation.” Huebner began writing the book in 2006, and his new study of the period integrates political, military, and social developments into an epic narrative interwoven with the thread of constitutionalism—to show how all Americans engaged the nation's heritage of liberty and constitutional government.
Liberty and Union argues that the resolution of the Civil War was profoundly revolutionary and also inextricably tied to the issues of both slavery and sovereignty. Drawing on a vast body of scholarship as well as such sources as congressional statutes, military records, the proceedings of black conventions, and contemporary newspapers and pamphlets, Liberty and Union merges Civil War history, U.S. constitutional history, and African American history and stretches from the antebellum era through the period of reconstruction, devoting equal attention to the Union and Confederate sides of the conflict. And its in-depth exploration of African American participation in a broader culture of constitutionalism redefines our understanding of black activism in the nineteenth century.
Huebner, who is on sabbatical during the 2016-2017 academic year, will spend much of the year promoting the book. On two occasions this semester, he will be speaking about the book on campus. The Meeman Center will host a book signing on Aug. 30 at 5:30 p.m., followed by a four-week course based on the book. In addition, the Department of History will host a lecture and book signing on Nov. 15. For more information on the book, as well as other upcoming events, go to the book’s website, www.libertyandunion.com