Cultural historian Richard Slotkin, the Olin Professor of English, Emeritus, is featured in an Oct. 25 Hartford Courant article titled ” Wesleyan Professor Sees 1864 Civil War Battle As Microcosm Of Racial Divide.” The article focuses on Slotkin’s most recent book , No Quarter: The Battle of the Crater, 1864.
The title of the book references one of the battle’s major controversies, which Slotkin addresses unsparingly: It was Confederate policy to take no black prisoners, resulting in summary executions of POWs on both sides.
Slotkin says his fascination with the battle goes back to his interst in the Civil War.
“I’ve always seen it as the watershed in American history. It’s the event that really produces the country that we are now: big, unified, industrialized, interested in the whole question of equality, what it’s about, what race is about, what’s the power of the federal government,” he says in the article.