The Grand Rapids Area Library is one of four Minnesota libraries receiving special funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association to offer a 5-part reading and discussion series focusing on the American Civil War. The series begins on Thursday, July 12 at 7 p.m. in the library’s community room. The public is invited to participate in any or all of the sessions which will meet monthly, on Aug. 9, Sept. 11, Oct. 18 and Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. The Honorable Jon Maturi will start each session with a short presentation on the topic and facilitate discussion of selected readings.
2012 marks the sesquicentennial anniversary, of the American Civil War which pulled Americans into a war of unimaginable scale and consequence. After 150 years Americans are still discovering layers of meaning encompassed by this tumultuous period of the country’s history. “Making Sense of the American Civil War” considers many different forms of stories that tell about the war. Multiple copies of three different books and several essays will be available at the library to provide context for the series’ discussions. Fiction and non-fiction selections will provide participants interesting things to talk about. “March” a novel by Geraldine Brooks is recommended reading for the July 12th discussion.
Twenty copies of “March,” “America’s War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on their 150th Anniversaries” and “Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam, The Battle That Changed the Course of the Civil War” are available to check out from a special display in the library. A reading and discussion guide for the series is also available for interested parties.
For more information about this and other library programs, visit the library’s website at www.grandrapids.lib.mn.us.