Tony Horowitz on John Brown at Harpers Ferry

Tony Horwitz Public Reading

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 • 4:00 pm
Student Union • Cape Cod Lounge
UMass Amherst Campus
Handicap access available
Directions & Parking
Free Admission
Contact: History Department,, (413) 515-1330
Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Horwitz gives a public talk and holds a book signing. Horwitz, the author of Confederates in the Attic and Midnight Rising: The Raid That Sparked the Civil War, is the History Department’s 2012 Writer-in-Residence.

I attended this talk last night, Horowitz was quite good, he tells a good story. He patiently, and thoroughly, answered questions for more than a half hour after the talk. His take on Brown’s sanity is that Brown was indeed sane, but had some extreme and crazy aspects of his personality, perhaps he was “manic depressive.” Horowitz stated that many historical figures may have had aspects of mental illness, he identified Lincoln and Churchill as examples, and that this may be a useful part of character that contributes to achievement.

Did anyone else out there attend the talk? If so, what did you think?


About marcferguson

I teach history, including the American Civil War Era, as an Adjunct at American International College in Springfield, Ma. I also teach survey courses in U.S. history, Western Civilization, and World History, and have taught at other area colleges, including the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and Holyoke Community College. While my academic background is in European History, my interest in the American Civil War began about a decade ago. Other areas of interest include Modernism, 20th century World Thought and Culture, The Rise of the West after 1400, 19th c. American Society and Culture, Central and Eastern European History and Culture, and Local History. I have in recent years cut back my teaching drastically in order to devote more time raising my kids (15 year old twins now), including working part-time at their elementary/middle school for the past 6 years, they are now launched and off to High School, and I plan to crank up my involvement in teaching history and local history projects, particularly in light of the American Civil War Sesquicentennial.
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