Guelzo's new book examines Civil War as ultimate test of American democracy

Fateful Lightning

Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction is now available

How did a government of the people and by the people survive a bloody civil war over serious issues of race, economics, and governance?

That is the question Gettysburg College’s Allen Guelzo, Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and professor of history, asked in his new book, Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction, now available from Oxford University Press.

Guelzo’s book has been well received, garnering positive reviews from publications including The New York Times and The Saturday Evening Post.

Fateful Lightning is available at the Gettysburg College bookstore and online.

We recently had the chance to catch up with Prof. Guelzo to find out why he hopes his new book is not unique, why he loves writing, and how, after decades of studying the Civil War, he can still be surprised.

Read the Q&A