Talks and Presentations

The emergence of powerpoint over the past decade and a half has allowed us to make colorful slides to accompany our lectures and presentations.  I have collected together the slides from some of my more successful lectures dealing with my books, research, and teaching.  Though the slides are a good guide to the presentation, they cannot convey some of the more interesting and subtle points in the talk. 

You can view a pdf file of the slides and access additional information at the links in each box.

One Kind of Freedom after Twenty Years 
In the fall of 2000 Lehigh University hosed a symposium to commemorate the 25th anniversary of publication of One Kind of Freedom.   Richard Sutch and I were invited to give a presentation of what we planned as an epilogue to the new edition.  Our talk summarized the writing of OKOF and was subsequently published in Explorations in Economic History.

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War Cliometrics:
The Rise and Fall of the Hacker Beard Thesis
In 2005 I gave the Presidential Address to the Economic History Association in Toronto.  The talk focused on the ways in which "cliometrics" influenced our views of the Civil War as a major watershed in the development of the American Economy.  A written version of the address was published in the Journal of Economic History
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The Beards Were Right

This Presentation was prepared for a group of middle and high school teachers of American History attending a seminar at UC Riverside in the summers of 2001-02.  It is one of many talks that I gave dealing with the ways in which economic factors not only contributed to the tensions that led to the Civil War, but explain why the war was a revolution

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Historical Imagination and Economic Reality: 

Confederate States of America was published in 2005. Here are two talks about the book that I gave to several very different audiences.  The first was a seminar in the UCR Economics Department explaining the counterfactual process to economists; the second was to a group of scholars from several different backgrounds at a conference on counterfactual history in Chapel Hill.  Though the three talks all cover essentially the same material, they bring out different facets of the process of writing counterfactual history.

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The Economics of the Civil War:
Causes, Costs, and Consequences
In the fall of 2010 I was invited to speak at a meeting of the Civil War Roundtable in Minneapolis on the "costs" of the Civil War.  The resulting talk incorporated thoughts I had explored in a number of essays I had published dealing with the war and its aftermath. 
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Robert E. Lee, Gettysburg, and the Schlieffen Plan

In 216BC a Carthaginian Army under the command of Hannibal annihilated a much larger Roman Army near the village of Cannae.  From that time to the present, it has been every general's dream to replicated Hannibal's feat.  In 1863, Robert E.Lee was seeking a "Confederate Cannae" when he engaged the Union Army at Gettysburg.  Three decades later Alfred Schlieffen attempted to create his own Cannae with a plan to destroy the French Army in the Fall of 1914. Although both Lee and Schlieffen failed in their efforts, what most people remember is that they both almost succeeded.  The idea of total victory remains a misguided military objective up to the present.   
Be Careful What You Wish for: 
War and Economics in an Age of Catastrophe

Historians consider the years between 1914-1945 to be an 'Age of  Catastrophe' . The period in question includes two World Wars and the worst economic depression in world history. In May of 2018 I gave a lecture to LIFE at the University of California Riverside on the tendency of politicians and generals to gamble on war as a means of resolving global economic and political crises. Unfortunately the gamble did not pay off and the result was a period in which neither wars or economic panics could be controlled. 

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