ACW university president number two

Sorry I missed the ascent of Edward Ayers to the presidency of the University of Richmond last month. This is interesting, coming after the appointment of Faust to Harvard. Two incidents don't make a trend, so we will tread softly here.

Like Faust, Ayers' public identity is "Civil War historian." This was underlined in a Civil War symposium in Richmond celebrating his promotion. Present as speakers were Faust and Gary Gallagher and each spoke out of their books. There was Ayers talking about Reconstruction; Faust on the social and cultural effects of mass casualties; Gallagher on pop culture.

There was no military historian talking shop.

Perhaps the academic establishment has a specific idea about what ACW history is - e.g. social or cultural analysis and think that historians of this type seem suitable for leadership of a college.

I said earlier that Faust's appointment would influence the direction of publishing in Civil War history. So will Ayers' appointment, both in the same way.