David W. Blight

David W. Blight

David Blight is a leading expert on the life and writings of Frederick Douglass and on the Civil War in historical memory. His most recent book, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (2018), won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History. His book Frederick Douglass's Civil War (1989), and his editions of Douglass's Narrative and W.E.B. Du Bois' Souls of Black Folk are widely taught in college courses. He also authored American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era (2011). Blight has appeared in several pbs films about African American history and works extensively with museums and other public history projects. His Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, 1863–1915 (2001), won a half-dozen prizes, including four from the OAH.


  • Blue, Gray and Black: The Origins of Memorial Day, 1865-1885
  • Frederick Douglass and the Meaning of the Civil War
  • Prophet of Freedom
  • Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory
  • The Study of Historical Memory: Why, and Why Now?


“The Civil War in American Memory”

This lecture was presented during the annual History Forum lecture series at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Recorded by WNAV, Inc., in March 2013.

Visit the OAH YouTube channel for more audio and video recordings.