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Aaron Sheehan-Dean- The Calculus of Violence: How Americans Fought The Civil War
WhenThursday, May 30, 2019, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Campus locationAllen Library (ALB)
Campus roomAllen Auditorium
Event typesLectures/Seminars

Dr. Aaron Sheehan-Dean, Fred C. Frey Professor of History and Department Chair at Louisiana State University will give a talk on his recent book, The Calculus of Violence: How Americans Fought the Civil War (Harvard University Press).

The Calculus of Violence demonstrates that this notoriously bloody war could have been much worse. Military forces on both sides sought to contain casualties inflicted on soldiers and civilians. In Congress, in church pews, and in letters home, Americans debated the conditions under which lethal violence was legitimate, and their arguments differentiated carefully among victims—women and men, black and white, enslaved and free. Sometimes, as Sheehan-Dean shows, these well-meaning restraints led to more carnage by implicitly justifying the killing of people who were not protected by the laws of war. As the Civil War raged on, the Union’s confrontations with guerrillas and the Confederacy’s confrontations with black soldiers forced a new reckoning with traditional categories of lawful combatants and raised legal disputes that still hang over military operations around the world today.

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