Just as his subject evidenced extraordinary gifts as a historian, so does Ernest Cassara in his address on Carl Schurz. What a humane and literate essay of a significant life! It certainly will send me scrambling to the library to read more about—or better yet—by Schurz. I am sure it had the same effect on sensible listeners in his Ethical Society audience and on the readers of the HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARIES.
As half assed amateur historian, I once swore to avoid being sucked into the intense gravitational pull of that enormous black hole known as the Civil War. It is a topic so vast, powerful and compelling that I witnessed many others fall in never to again emerge. Of course, I too eventually surrendered. Figures like Schurz, however, are like pathways that can lead us both to what came before and to the world that unfolded in its aftermath and in doing so put the central event of American history into a living, breathing context. Thanks to Cassara, I look forward to soon undertaking that journey.
I enjoyed reading Ernest Cassara's address on Carl Schurz that could be reached through a link from the HSC. When I was a teenager, I used to walk in Carl Schurz Park, in New York City, but although the name of the park has always stayed in my memory, anything I might have read about the actual person on any plaques was gone. Thank you for telling his story.