Professor writes book about Civil War

It’s been about 10 years coming, but Andre Fleche is finally able to see the fruits of his labor.

What began as his doctoral dissertation has evolved into a published book, titled “The Revolution of 1861: The American Civil War in the Age of Nationalist Conflict (Civil War America).”

“Americans often think of it (the Civil War) as a brothers’ war, but it really should be seen as a global event,” Fleche said of his book.

The book follows the lives of people who lived and fought in Europe for national unity in 1848. When they realize they have been stripped of and denied their basic rights, they immigrate to America in search of these ideals. When they arrive, they are instead faced with, once again, a divided country.

Fleche attended undergraduate school at Syracuse and graduate school at the University of Virginia. He began working on this book 10 years ago. It has taken five years to go through the publication process, he said.

Fleche said he got a lot of support throughout this long process, especially from his wife Meredith, who has a degree in art history and helped him to prepare pictures from newspapers in that time period to add to the book.

While more emphasis for teaching criteria at Castleton is based upon student-teacher interaction, as opposed to the individual prestige of the professor, it definitely helps to have some of your work published.

“Students respect professors who publish original work, giving them hope that they can do the same.  However, it takes an incredible amount of discipline and diligence to be successful.  Professor Fleche embodies all of these wonderful qualities as a published professor,” Castleton College President Dave Wolk wrote in an e-mail when asked how he thought being published affects student perception on teachers.

And students certainly seem to recognize and appreciate these qualities.

“I’ve only skimmed his new book, but from the couple chapters I read, I was able to see how much his enthusiasm for the topic shines through … It’s also cool to see his work on the Civil War because so many people see him as the “Latin American” history professor in the department and many forget or don’t know that he did a lot of his advanced degree work on the Civil War,” said Kenzi McCain, who took Felche’s senior thesis class.  

The book, while just being published in March, has already popped up in some blogs online and received some positive feedback.

“The author presents an intelligent, well-supported position that’s very convincing as he opens a new area of study,” a reviewer on said.

The book will also be displayed in some academic journals within the coming months to be reviewed by other professors, Fleche said. When asked if he was nervous about this, Fleche responded immediately with a loud “Yes.”

“It feels good, I definitely have a sense of accomplishment, but it’s also a little scary. Now I’m not as anonymous,” Fleche said.


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