Program Details

Literature of the Civil War

Taylor Hagood

Course Description

The American Civil War tested democracy, national unity, and human status and rights. The bloody conflict, which ushered in a new and terrible warfare technology, profoundly changed the nation. Writers responded to the war during and after it and have continued to engage with it imaginatively to the present day. In this series, Professor Taylor Hagood will explore literature about the Civil War, weaving details about it and its battles with the writers' responses. Blending history and fiction will be central to this unique approach to one of the defining moments of the United States. Space is limited.


  1. Mary Boykin Chesnut: The diary of this South Carolina woman provides an experience of the war as it unfolded.
  2. Ambrose Bierce: This Ohioan fought in the war and wrote darkly of it out of his cynical and damaged worldview.
  3. Stephen Crane: Although born after the war ended, Stephen Crane’s "The Red Badge of Courage" captured the conflict vividly.
  4. William Faulkner: The Nobel Laureate’s most accessible book dealt with the Civil War, as did many of his other works.
  5. Shelby Foote: Known for his epic narrative trilogy of the war, Foote also wrote a novel on the battle of Shiloh.
  6. Michael Shaara: This New Jerseyan brought the war to life for readers in his 1974 novel, "The Killer Angels."

About the Instructor

  • Taylor Hagood is Professor of American Literature at Florida Atlantic University and author of the biography/true crime _Stringbean: The Life and Murder of a Country Music Legend_ and _Faulkner, Writer of Disability_, winner of the C. Hugh Holman Award for Best Book in Southern Studies. Professor Hagood lectures on a range of topics and performs live music at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Boca Raton and Jupiter.

    Learning Professorship of Arts and Letters, 2014-15