Scholars Series: Book Talk with Fergus Bordewich

Congress at War by Fergus Bordewich

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society is pleased to host independent historian Fergus M. Bordewich for a book talk on his recent volume, Congress at War: How Republican Reformers Fought the Civil War, Defied Lincoln, Ended Slavery, and Remade America. Join us at noon EDT on Wednesday, June 10 for this webinar. It is free and open to all–please share the information with anyone who may be interested! However, you must register to join the Zoom webinar.

Building a dramatic narrative around four members of Congress–Republicans Thaddeus Stevens, William Pitt Fessenden, and Ben Wade, and the pro-slavery Northerner Clement L. Vallandigham–Bordewich shows how a dynamic and newly empowered Republican Party created the conditions for Union success. The significance of the wartime congresses, the 37th and 38th, reached far beyond the battlefield. From reinventing the nation’s financial system and keeping the Federal armies in the field to providing for the enlistment of black troops, legislating the erosion of slavery, and planning for postwar reconstruction, to the passage of far-reaching measures such as the Transcontinental Railroad and the Homestead Act, Congress laid the groundwork for a stronger federal government that came fully into being in the twentieth century. Learn more at Bordewich’s Website.


head shot of speaker Fergus Bordewich
Fergus Bordewich (c) David Altschul
Fergus M. Bordewich is the author of many books on American history, including “The First Congress”; “America’s Great Debate,” about the crafting of the Compromise of 1850; “Bound for Canaan,” a history of the Underground Railroad; and “Washington: The Making of the American Capital,” among others. He is currently writing a book about the Federal government’s war against the Ku Klux Klan in the early 1870s. He is also a frequent book reviewer for the Wall Street Journal.