The black-white rift stands at the very center of American history. It is the great challenge to which all our deepest aspirations to freedom must rise. If we forget that--if we forget the great stain of slavery that stands at the heart of our country, our history, our experiment--we forget who we are, and we make the great rift deeper and wider.
I am passionately interested in understanding how my country works. And if you want to know about this thing called the United States of America you have to know about the Civil War.
You can learn as much about the history from reading about the present as you can vice versa, that is learning about the present through history, which is what I do for a living.