Ben’s Book Club: ‘A World on Fire’ by Amanda Foreman

Please note this is a past event. View upcoming events and all past virtual talks here. 

Join us for the November installment of Ben’s Book Club, a monthly virtual gathering looking at themes ​related to Benjamin Franklin, the 18th ​century, and American ​history.

This month we will be talking to Dr Amanda Foreman about her brilliant narrative, ‘A World on Fire’, in which she tells the fascinating story of the American Civil War–and the major role played by Britain and its citizens in that epic struggle.

Between 1861 and 1865, thousands of British citizens volunteered for service on both sides of the Civil War. From the first cannon blasts on Fort Sumter to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, they served as officers and infantrymen, sailors and nurses, blockade runners and spies. Through personal letters, diaries, and journals, Foreman introduces characters both humble and grand, while crafting a panoramic yet intimate view of the war on the front lines, in the prison camps, and in the great cities of both the Union and the Confederacy. In the drawing rooms of London and the offices of Washington, on muddy fields and aboard packed ships, Foreman reveals the decisions made, the beliefs held and contested, and the personal triumphs and sacrifices that ultimately led to the reunification of America.

‘A World on Fire’ was the winner of the Fletcher Pratt Award for Civil War History, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and was selected for the New York Times Top Ten Books of 2011. Amanda Foreman is also the author of the best-selling ‘Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire’. In 2016, Foreman served as chair of The Man Booker Prize. That same year, her BBC documentary series, ‘The Ascent of Woman’, was released. Currently, she is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal bi-weekly ‘Historically Speaking’ and an Honorary Research Senior Fellow in the History Department at the University of Liverpool. Her next book, ‘The World Made by Women’, is scheduled to be published by Penguin Random House in 2021.

You can buy ‘A World on Fire’ here.

Join us even if you don’t have a chance to read the book by the event date!

This event is free of charge but please consider making an online donation here to support the work of Benjamin Franklin House.