Historians of slave emancipation during the Civil War must answer the question that W.E.B. Dubois posed eighty ago: “Can we imagine this spectacular revolution?” In his new book, Beyond Freedom’s Reach, Adam Rothman rises to the challenge by telling the story of Rose Herera, an enslaved woman in New Orleans whose children were taken to Cuba against her will in 1863. Her struggle to recover the children from bondage reveals the revolutionary dynamics of wartime emancipation, as well as the possibilities of microhistory for imagining the past.
Adam Rothman is Associate Professor of History at Georgetown University. He is the author of Beyond Freedom’s Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery, and Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South, and several other essays and articles on topics ranging from Thomas Jefferson to Lafcadio Hearn. In addition to his scholarship, he has written on slavery, the Civil War, and emancipation for the New York Times, Daily Beast, Al Jazeera America, and Zócalo Public Square.
The seminar meets at 4:00 p.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room, Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop.
The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center. It meets weekly during the academic year. Seewww.nationalhistorycenter.org for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as webcasts and podcasts. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support. Reservations requested because of limited seating.