Military History Lecture - The Origins of the American Civil War: What Can We Learn from the Way a Society Remembers a War?

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Long fascinated with the origins of the American Civil War, Professor Brian Holden Reid will address the various ways ‘blame’ has been attributed for the outbreak of the war.

Professor Brian Holden Reid will look at the great crisis of the 1850s, the controversy over the slavery question, the unwillingness to compromise and the overwhelming conviction that the war would be short. All these factors precipitated the greatest and most important war in American history. This lecture will seek to illuminate the way we think about the coming of war and the varying ways we recall it.
Professor Brian Holden Reid is Professor of American History and Military Institutions at King’s College London. He is a graduate of the Universities of Hull, Sussex and London. He first joined the Department in 1982, having also taught at the Polytechnic of North London and City University. For much of his career he has enjoyed a close association with the armed forces. From 1984-1987 he was editor of the RUSI Journal, and edited the RUSI's publications, including its 'Defence Studies' Series (Macmillan). In 1996 he became a Consultant Editor (Military History) to the RUSI Journal. From 1987-1997 he was seconded by the Department to the Staff College, Camberley, where he served as Resident Historian. He was the first civilian to serve on the Directing Staff for over a century, and helped set up the Higher Command and Staff Course for senior officers. Professor Holden Reid has lectured at innumerable military institutions and formation study days, and served on many boards involved with the training and education of officers. He was Chief Examiner of the Army Promotion Examination in War Studies, including the Strategic and Combat Studies Institute. Professor Holden Reid is a graduate of the Staff College, Camberley (HCSC, 1988, psc, 1991) and an honorary graduate of the School of Advanced Military Studies at the United States Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth. Professor Holden Reid is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal United Services Institute. He was a member of the Council and then Chairman of the Army Records Society, and is currently an Honorary Vice President. He has also served on the Councils of the Army Records Society, as an elected Trustee of the Society of Military History, currently serving his second term, and a Trustee and Member of the Council of the National Army Museum, London.

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