Leslie Schwalm, historian of Civil War America.

Professor Emeritus of history and gender, women’s, and sexuality studies at the University of Iowa, Leslie writes and lectures on how the wartime destruction of slavery shaped the lives of Black and white Americans, North and South.

Latest Book:

Although the Civil War ultimately brought an end to slavery, northern white medical practitioners and scientists used the circumstances of the war—particularly Black enlistment and the crowding of refugees from slavery in contraband camps—to conduct medical and scientific research intended to advance the idea that race was an immutable biological designator of superiority and inferiority.  In this book, Leslie Schwalm reveals the investigations conducted by agents of the US Sanitary Commission and Army personnel that, paired with the provision of substandard health care for Black Americans, fueled both anti-Black racism and health disparities during and after the war. Available March 2023 from the University of North Carolina Press.

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