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Cabrini Professor Separates Fact from Fiction in New Book

Posted on 9/4/2018 11:26:40 AM

RADNOR, Pa. (Sept. 4, 2018)—As our country continues to confront disinformation, James Hedtke, PhD, sets out to debunk popular myths that evolved more than 157 years ago in his latest book American Civil War: Fact and Fictions.

Hedtke—who has previously written about lame duck presidents, the personal trials and triumphs of civil war soldiers, and the air disaster in Freckleton, England—now examines the development and perpetuation of the many stories that stemmed from the four-year war. 

“Historians are committed to the search for truth,” said Hedtke. “Over the past 150 years, authors have written more than 50,000 books about the Civil War. Only a small number of these works have focused on correcting the myths and fictions surrounding this pivotal struggle in American history.”

In his fourth book, Hedtke presents common myths and examines their flaws, evolution, and what really happened. Intended for college-level readers interested in the American Civil War, Hedtke separates fact from fiction with primary source material.

As a professor of Civil War courses at Cabrini since the early 1990s, Hedtke has fielded questions, interests, and concerns from hundreds of students, which has greatly influenced his book—yet his research still held many surprises for him that even included the start of the war in the first place.

“Most Americans still believe that states' rights were the primary cause of the Civil War—65 percent of Americans under the age of 30 hold this belief,” said Hedtke, explaining some secondary social studies classes included misconceptions in their curriculum.

With these myths ingrained in American daily life, Hedtke’s book takes on fake news through the ages.

His book is currently available through ABC-CLIO and amazon.com.

About Cabrini University

Founded in 1957 by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Cabrini University is a Catholic institution that empowers students to become advocates of social change through an Education of the Heart, focusing on academic excellence, community engagement, and leadership development.

Cabrini enrolls approximately 1,650 undergraduates in more than 35 majors, pre-professional programs, concentrations, and minors on its serene 112-acre campus located 30 minutes from Philadelphia. The University also enrolls 800 students in graduate, doctoral, and professional studies programs at its main campus in Radnor, PA, and at five off-campus locations.