Author at Lincoln Presidential Museum Aug. 22 to discuss 'song that
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[August 15, 2013]
SPRINGFIELD -- Practically
everyone can hum "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Most people know
bits of its powerful lyrics, like "His truth is marching on" and
"glory, glory, hallelujah."
Yet few people know the full history of this song and its place in
American culture, a gap that author John Stauffer will fill on Aug.
22 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Stauffer, co-author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography
of the Song that Marches On," will sign copies of the book at 6 p.m.
and speak in the museum's Union Theater at 6:30. The event is free,
but reservations are required and can be made at
The book traces the song from its origin at campfire revival
meetings to its role as a Civil War anthem to its use by groups and
causes over the decades.
The song has been adopted by progressives, evangelicals, labor
activists and civil rights protestors. Its lyrics inspired John
Steinbeck and Martin Luther King Jr. An unofficial national hymn, it
was played at the funerals of John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan and
the national memorial service for the victims of the Sept. 11
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"The song that encapsulated the central themes of America's
bloodiest conflict continues to express America's values," Stauffer
The Washington Post praises the book's "subtlety and depth." The
Wall Street Journal calls it "engaging" and "entertaining."
Stauffer, a professor of English and American Studies at Harvard
University, is an award-winning scholar of the Civil War era. He
collaborated on this book with Benjamin Soskis of George Mason
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
file received from the