University professor to sign copies of new Civil War CD set, Saturday Nov. 29

James I. Robertson

James I. Robertson

BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 26, 2008 – Virginia Tech Alumni Distinguished Professor of History James I. Robertson will sign copies of his new CD set, "The Many Faces of the Civil War", Saturday, Nov. 29 at the Volume II Bookstore in Blacksburg prior to and after the university's football game with the University of Virginia.

Robertson is scheduled to be at the bookstore from 9 a.m. to noon and 4 to 7 p.m.

The CD set is a two-disk collection of 36 of Robertson's Civil War essays that ran for 14 years on public radio stations in and around Virginia. Topics range from Abraham Lincoln to Sallie, the terrier mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment.

"Dr. Robertson's radio essays added much to our region's understanding and appreciation of the human element of the Civil War," said WVTF Station Manager Glenn Gleixner. "His authentic and familiar delivery of the essays easily touched our hearts and souls as he explained events of the Civil War in a compelling and sincere style."

"The Many Faces of the Civil War" was produced by Paul Lancaster of Virginia Tech University Relations. Lancaster called the production sessions a joy. "Robertson taught us about the Civil War through the eyes of a social historian. It wasn't just a recitation of who fought whom in which battle. The series gave voice to the men, women, children, and even the animals who bore the heavy cost of the conflict," said Lancaster.

Lancaster also noted Robertson's ability to treat sensitive topics with grace, dignity, and, sometimes, good humor. "The topics ranged from the origins of 'Taps' to camp mascots. It was not about how soldiers died. It was about how they lived."

Robertson continues to teach Civil War history at Virginia Tech, in what is believed to be the largest class of its kind in the country. He also directs the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies (VCCWS). A native of Danville, he has won every major award given in the field of Civil War history. Robertson, who received his undergraduate degree from Randolph-Macon and his master's and Ph.D from Emory University, continues to write books and produce documentaries about the conflict.

Proceeds from the sale of the $25 CD set will go to the center. With a chief goal of educating the young, the projects of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies concentrate on the actions that led to the war, on the factors that help explain it and its aftermath, and on the people who suffered through it. The center provides an ideal setting to shed new light on the war -- not merely on the political and military aspects, but also on the more subtle social, cultural, and human implications of this pivotal episode in United States history.