STARKVILLE, Miss.--What if Abraham Lincoln had lost his 1860 presidential election?
Respected academic historian John F. Marszalek, Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Mississippi State, believes a Civil War would still have happened, but may have begun later than 1861.
As part of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's winning the U.S. presidential election, Marszalek is one of 22 experts participating in a public history project organized through The Washington Post.
Marszalek, who also serves as executive director and managing editor of the Ulysses S. Grant Association, has authored seven books and is co-editor of the "Encyclopedia of African-American Civil Rights."
Through a Washington Post blog called "A House Divided," Marszalek will write about events and people associated with the Civil War, recommend books related to the subject, and highlight events and educational resources, as well as joining in an online forum. His participation is under the auspices of the Post's Civil War Project Advisory Group.
"I will regularly blog along with the other well known Civil War historians on a schedule determined by the newspaper," said Marszalek, who has been featured on the History Channel and many other outlets about the Civil War. "In my comments, I hope to present an accurate view of the Civil War, the most significant event in American history."
In particular, Marszalek said that he and others will discuss many myths related to the Civil War and try to set the record straight, such as the actual reason for the war starting.
Academic courses about the four-year war that literally tore the United States apart continue as a staple in high schools and colleges. Marszalek said lessons learned from that time always will remain relevant.
"The public continues to have a fascination with this historical event and its participants, and the anniversary only increases that interest," he said. "This is only right; no event in American history so determined the nation's destiny as this four-year conflict."
Join the discussion at http://voices.washingtonpost.com/house-divided/.
For more information, contact Dr. Marszalek at 662-325-4552 or firstname.lastname@example.org.