Blogging the Civil War

Huge fanfare surrounded the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth in February 2009—and occasioned a flood of books on our sixteenth president. (Here is Sean Wilentz’s controversial take on seven of them.) The ruckus has hardly died down, yet historians of nineteenth-century America are once again being tapped by newspaper opinion pages, this time to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The Washington Post has already launched Civil War 150, a site that has incorporated A House Divided, a blog about the war run for two years about Linda Wheeler. In recent weeks it has featured posts from the eminent historians Joan Waugh, David W. Blight, Kate Masur, and others. The New York Times is getting in on the act, too, with Disunion, a subset of its Opinionator blog mostly written by Adam Goodheart (though already featuring a few guest posts by Ted Widmer). The torrent of writing will only increase in the coming weeks: South Carolina seceded on December 24.