February 21, 2013 Library of Congress "Timeline of the Civil War" Illustrated Volume Subject of Book Discussion

Images Are from Library’s Extraordinary Collections

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

With more than 350 striking visuals from the Library’s unparalleled archive, “The Library of Congress Illustrated Timeline of the Civil War” is an authoritative narrative of the domestic conflict that determined the course of American history. Laced with firsthand accounts by men and women of both sides, this chronological narrative of the war captures the intensity of the bitter conflict President Lincoln aptly called “a people’s contest.” The book’s rich array of illustrations includes speech drafts in Lincoln’s own hand, drawings, photographs, maps and political cartoons. Many have never before been reproduced in a Library publication.

The book’s principal author, Margaret E. Wagner, will discuss and sign her book on Tuesday, March 12, at noon in the Montpelier Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library of Congress James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress is co-sponsored by the Library’s Publishing Office. The program is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

With its exciting new source material and lucid organization, the book provides an excellent overview for general readers while giving Civil War enthusiasts a fresh look at this period in the nation’s history. The “Timeline” is a companion to the Library exhibition “The Civil War in America” (myloc.gov/exhibitions/civil-war-in-america), which is on view in the Thomas Jefferson Building through June 1.

“The Library of Congress Illustrated Timeline of the Civil War” has been widely praised since its publication in 2011 by Little, Brown:

“This is an extraordinarily valuable reference work that can also be read as a connected narrative of the Civil War. Incisive descriptions of all significant events are here in chronological order, along with useful information on lesser-known persons and incidents. The many illustrations and their captions add yet another important dimension to this wonderful book,” said James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Battle Cry of Freedom.”

Henry Louis Gates Jr., a professor at Harvard University, said, “The meaning of the war has been debated for the past 150 years, and it is destined to be debated for the next 150 years as well. But because of the splendid detail marshaled in this remarkable timeline, there can be no dispute over what happened, when, and where, and what it looked like. This is a historic accomplishment of scholarship and imagination.”

Margaret E. Wagner is a senior writer-editor in the Publishing Office of the Library of Congress. She is the co-author and co-editor of “The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference” and “The Library of Congress World War II Desk Reference.” Wagner is the author of “The American Civil War: 365 Days,” “World War II: 365 Days” and “Maxfield Parrish and the Illustrators of the Golden Age.”

The book’s introduction is by Gary W. Gallagher, who is the John L. Nau III Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is the author or editor of many books in the field of Civil War history, including “The Confederate War”; “Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know about the Civil War”; and “The Union War.”

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center.


PR 13-033
ISSN 0731-3527