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Event Details
The Road to Civil War
Joanne Freeman - Professor of History and American Studies, Yale University

Friday, November 2, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM


Evening Details

6:00 PM Program & Book Signing
Dallas Hall at SMU

Think our government is dysfunctional now? While the incessant battling and over-the-top rhetoric is often cringeworthy, it’s significantly tamer than the congressional brawls and mayhem that were an everyday occurrence in the years leading up to the Civil War. 

Yale professor, writer and noted American historian Joanne Freeman captures the powerful emotions and tensions that set the North and South on a perilous collision course to war in her new book—Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War. 

Using accounts reported by journalists and from the personal diaries of individuals who witnessed Congressional bullying, canings, fisticuffs and duels, Freeman paints a vivid portrait of the time when the battle over slavery fractured the nation.

Freeman is renowned for injecting history with vivid details that make it dramatic, engaging and relevant. Inspired by her writings about the history of dueling, the producers of the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton, created “Ten Duel Commandments”—one of the show’s pivotal songs. Along with her two previously acclaimed books—Affairs of Honor and Hamilton: Writings—Freeman has appeared on PBS, The History Channel and Discovery Channel. She is also a contributor to The New York Times, The Atlantic and Slate.

Join us as we welcome Joanne Freeman for an intriguing look at an earlier time when extreme political discord and divisiveness threatened to tear our nation apart.

In partnership with


This event is sold out. To be placed on the waitlist, register here.

Location: SMU Campus, McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall
3225 University Boulevard
Dallas, TX 75205
Fees: Free
Calendar: Council Events
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