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Three renowned scholars revisit one of the most significant, pivotal years in American history: 1860. Throughout 1860, tensions over slavery threatened to boil over into civil war and the supercharged Presidential campaign would very literally decide the immediate fate and future of the Union. Abraham Lincoln was elected in November; by the end of the year, South Carolina had seceded and the course of American history was irrevocably changed.
James McPherson is George Henry Davis ’86 Professor of American History Emeritus at Princeton University. In 1989 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. Eric Foner is DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University and the author of many books, including most recently, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. Harold Holzer (Moderator) has written or edited more than 30 books on Lincoln and the Civil War and served as co-chairman of the U.S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.