Civil War Wiki

Edward L. Ayers (born January 22, 1953) is the current president of the University of Richmond, having served in this capacity since July 1, 2007. Prior to his appointment, he had been on the faculty of the University of Virginia since 1980, most recently as the Buckner W. Clay Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences[1]. In 1997, Ayers helped found the Virginia Center for Digital History and served as its director until 2001[1]. Ayers also oversaw the Valley of the Shadow project and has long been an advocate of digital history. [2].

In June 2008, Ayers and Brian Balogh and Peter Onuf, two former colleagues at the University of Virginia, began hosting a public radio call-in program called 'BackStory with the American History Guys' [3].


Ayers received his Bachelor of Arts degree (1974) in American Studies from the University of Tennessee and his Master of Arts degree (1977) and Ph.D. (1980) in American Studies from Yale University.[4]


  • Bancroft Prize, In The Presence of Mine Enemies: War in the Heart of America, 1859-1863 (2004)[5]
  • National Council on the Humanities, Presidential Appointee (2000-2004)[6]
  • U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Council for Advancement and Support of Education (2003)[7]
  • Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (elected 2001)[8]
  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist - History, The Promise of the New South: Life after Reconstruction (1993)[9]
  • National Book Award Finalist - Nonfiction, The Promise of the New South: Life after Reconstruction (1992)[10]


  • The Crucible of the Civil War: Virginia from Secession to Commemoration (edited with Gary Gallagher and Andrew Torget), University of Virginia Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-8139-2552-3.
  • What Caused the Civil War? Reflections on the South and Southern History, W. W. Norton & Company, 2005. ISBN 978-0-3930-5947-2.
  • In the Presence of Mine Enemies: War in the Heart of America, 1859–1863, W. W. Norton & Company, 2003. ISBN 978-0-3933-2601-7.
  • The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War - The Eve of War (CD-ROM and book, co-authored with Anne S. Rubin), W. W. Norton & Company, 2000. ISBN 978-0-3930-4604-5.
  • American Passages: A History of the United States, (co-author) Harcourt, 2000; (second edition) Thomson Wadsworth, 2003; (third edition) Thomson Wadsworth, 2006. ISBN 978-0-4950-5015-5.
  • The Oxford Book of the American South: Testimony, Memory, and Fiction (edited with Bradley Mittendorf), Oxford University Press, 1997. ISBN 978-0-1951-2493-4.
  • All Over the Map: Rethinking American Regions (co-editor and co-author), Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996. ISBN 978-0-8018-5392-0.
  • The Promise of the New South: Life after Reconstruction, Oxford University Press, 1992; paperback edition, 1993; abridged edition, 1995; 15th Anniversary Edition, 2007. ISBN 978-0-1953-2688-8.
  • The Edge of the South: Life in Nineteenth-Century Virginia (co-edited with John C. Willis) University Press of Virginia, 1991. ISBN 978-0-8139-1298-1.
  • Vengeance and Justice: Crime and Punishment in the Nineteenth-Century American South, Oxford University Press, 1984; paperback edition, 1986. ISBN 978-0-1950-3988-7.

Digital Projects[]


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