The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

GC EventsHistory Program Events

2/4 – Emancipation: James Oakes & Sean Wilentz in Conversation

Emancipation: James Oakes & Sean Wilentz in Conversation

Monday, February 4th, 6:30 p.m.

Elebash Recital Hall

SOLD OUT! But you can watch it livestreamed here –

Historians James Oakes, of the Graduate Center, and Sean Wilentz, of Princeton, discuss Oakes’s provocative new book about the Civil War, Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865.


With Freedom National, Oakes, a leading figure in the study of the Civil War, Reconstruction, slavery, and the Old South, lays to rest the popular notion that the Civil War was merely a war to restore the Union. He argues instead for antislavery’s centrality to the war. It has just been announced the work has won the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize. Oakes’s previous books include The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics; Slavery and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Old South; and The Ruling Race: A History of American Slaveholders.

Noted historian and public intellectual Sean Wilentz has written with precision on such topics as race and class in America, popular music, and contemporary politics. His many books include the Bancroft Prize-winning The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln; Bob Dylan in America; and The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008.

This event is free, but reservations are required and can be made at:


Come explore the life of the mind in the heart of the city; for more information about Public Programs at the Graduate Center, please visit: