Publication highlights Grant presidential library

A special online feature of a new national Civil War print publication currently features an interview with the head of the Mississippi State University-based Ulysses S. Grant Association and Grant Presidential Library.

Internationally recognized Civil War historian John F. Marszalek is the focus of a nearly 15-minute production by Civil War Monitor magazine's "Behind the Lines" video interview series. David Thomson, one of the publication's contributing editors, conducted the interview.

During the broadcast, Marszalek, an MSU Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus, discusses recent developments at the Grant Library, as well as opportunities the campus resource offers to serious researchers and average citizens with an interest in the 19th century Union Army leader and, later, U.S. president.

Marszalek also provides recommendations for newly published works on Grant, among other matters.

The interview may be viewed in its entirety at

First released in 2011--the inaugural year of the war's four-year-long 150th anniversary--by New Jersey publisher Bayshore History Llc, Civil War Monitor is edited by Terry Johnson. With the subtitle "A New Look at America's Greatest Conflict," the new quarterly seeks to bridge the gulf between academic and popular history.

In late 2008, the Grant collection relocated to MSU from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, following the death of the Grant Association's longtime director and editor. Marszalek became the association's executive director and managing editor.

Last year, Grant Association President Frank J. Williams announced a decision by the organization's board of directors to designate the Ulysses S. Grant Collection at MSU's Mitchell Memorial Library as the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library. Only five universities in the nation currently serve as homes to presidential libraries.

A University of Notre Dame doctoral graduate, Marszalek is best known for "Sherman, A Soldier's Passion for Order (1993), and "The Petticoat Affair: Manners, Mutiny, and Sex in Andrew Jackson's White House" (1998), both of which were honored with non-fiction prizes and became History Book Club selections. His first book, "Court Martial" (1979) was made into a Showtime motion picture.

To provide maximum exposure resources of the historical archives, MSU President Mark E. Keenum has announced the plans to add another floor to Mitchell Memorial exclusively for the Grant Library. The proposed expansion was among topics covered in the Civil War Monitor interview.

Sammy McDavid | University Relations

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