Episode 73, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube

Jeremi Suri is a historian, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and the author of multiple books, including his most recent, "Civil War by Other Means: America’s Long and Unfinished Fight for Democracy."

During our conversation, Jeremi talks about the circumstances leading up to the American Civil War, the key players in the war, including Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, and Ulysses S. Grant, the Confederate roots of the Ku Klux Klan, little-known facts about important Confederate leaders in the war, including those who joined and agreed to fight for Mexico, and those who eventually rose to American political power during the post-war years. Perhaps most centrally, Jeremi argues that Lincoln's grand vision for a fully unified, equal America was never realized, and its aftereffects can be felt and observed to this day.

Despite its historic atrocities and current injustices, I still believe that America is the world's best hope for human freedom, real prosperity, and inspiring the rights and the dignity of the individual. Its founding principles have endured and have changed the world. And people vote with their feet: there's a reason why America continues to be immigrants' top choice as their preferred home. The United States will never be perfect, but it can be better, and the knowledge and insights from this book can help the place Lincoln called, "the last best hope of earth."

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