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The Road to Now

Bob Crawford (The Avett Brothers) & Dr. Ben Sawyer (MTSU History) share conversations with great thinkers from a variety of backgrounds – historians, artists, legal scholars, political figures and more –who help us uncover the many roads that run between past and present. For more information, visit TheRoadToNow.com If you'd like to support our work, join us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheRoadToNow
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Now displaying: Page 1
May 13, 2024

Jon Grinspan has done something remarkable: in his new book, Wide Awake, he tells a thoroughly researched and brilliantly crafted story that may change your understanding of the origins of the American Civil War. In this episode, Jon joins us for a conversation about the Wide Awakes, the anti-slavery youth movement that played an instrumental role in electing Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and took part in some of the first acts of violence between pro and anti-slavery Americans in 1861. Jon also discusses the ways that the past and present interact in powerful ways, and how politics can evolve, step-by-step, into violence.

 

To quote Jon’s recent article in The Smithsonian: “The most consequential political organization in American history….began when a few working-class kids designed a costume, which grew into a movement and ultimately an army. And it ended with a civil war.”

 

Dr. Jon Grinspan is a curator of political and military history at the National Museum of American History. His book Wide Awake: The Forgotten Force that Elected Lincoln and Spurred the Civil War is out May 14, 2024 from Bloomsbury Press. Click here to order your copy!

 

You can hear Jon’s previous appearance on The Road to Now in episode #220 Processing the Past w/ John Grinspan.

 

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

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