Program Details

A Guided Discussion With Dr. Stephen Engle: The War That Won’t Go Away: Today’s Search for a Usable Past

Stephen Engle
Current Events / Politics

Course Description

That Americans continually return to the Civil War to interpret the present confirms the conflict’s centrality to the ongoing public discourse about what unifies and divides us. Even today, a national debate questions how and why Confederate symbols square with the unfinished business of Reconstruction. Such emblems remind us that as we grapple with the politics of race in America, we continue to encounter the Civil War. Following an overview, the group will discuss how and why we still search for a usable past. Opinions are bound to vary! The success of this new format hinges on the tolerance and mutual respect of each attendee. OLLI Boca is confident that participants will engage in the spirit of open-mindedness and civil debate.

About the Instructor

  • Stephen Engle, Ph.D. teaches 19th-Century America, including the Age of Jefferson and Jackson, and has completed a new book on Federalism during the American Civil War.  He earned a doctoral degree in American History and has been at FAU since 1990, serving for five years as the history department chair.  He is also a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and a lecturer for the Smithsonian Institution's Associates Program. In 2016, he was named FAU's Distinguished Teacher of the Year.