Lecture Series: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. - The Civil War, & The March into Modernity
This 8-session series explores the story of a brave soldier, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who served in the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Army (1861-1864) and who later fused his Darwinian creed into his thought as a Supreme Court Justice (1902-1932). It is a most incredible story situated in battles at Ball’s Bluff, Antietam, Chancellorsville and the Battle of the Wilderness. It is the story of Holmes’ survival march that began as a heroic act on the battlefield and then transformed itself into a momentous idea in our constitutional history. That idea, both liberating and alarming, was created in the caldron of war and pointed away from an old America and toward a new one. It is an idea that became central to our modern notion of freedom, especially freedom of speech.
The course will offer a short but eye-opening history of how war scarred a man and then set the compass of his destiny. What began as a youthful sentiment followed by an incident blossomed into a great cause and then into combat, heroism, suffering, death, victory, and finally into the horrific and glorious memory of it all. What remains is an X-ray of a man’s mind revealing the fears and hopes that made him a great figure in the roar and strife of his nation. This is the true story, at once venerable and dark, of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Presented by Ron Collins, the Harold S. Shefelman Scholar at the University of Washington School of Law. This series is co-hosted by Topical Seminars. A copy of The Fundamental Holmes: A Free Speech Chronicle and Reader by Ron Collins is required for the class. A copy of the book is on reserve behind the Circulation Desk for those who don't want to purchase the book. Weekly readings may be done at the library or you can make copies.
- Dates & Times:
- 10:00am - 11:30am, Monday, June 17, 2019
10:00am - 11:30am, Monday, June 24, 2019
10:00am - 11:30am, Monday, July 1, 2019
10:00am - 11:30am, Monday, July 8, 2019
10:00am - 11:30am, Monday, July 15, 2019
10:00am - 11:30am, Monday, July 22, 2019
10:00am - 11:30am, Monday, July 29, 2019
10:00am - 11:30am, Monday, August 5, 2019
- Large Meeting Room East
- Lewes Public Library