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A Worse Place than Hell: How the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg Changed a Nation
Collaborative Programs
Non-Fiction at the Bryant Park Reading Room
John Matteson
Mon, July 26, 2021 | 6 pm ET | Free


Our popular outdoor lecture series is back! The New-York Historical Society is thrilled to once again partner with the Bryant Park Reading Room to present a series of free programs in the park. Now in its 12th summer, this year’s Non-Fiction at the Bryant Park Reading Room series features a wide array of fascinating talks on presidential history, the Supreme Court, the Civil War, and World War II.

In December 1862, the Civil War’s devastating Battle of Fredericksburg shattered Northern confidence and drove the nation toward a breaking point. Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Matteson illuminates this critical juncture of the war—as well as its ramifications—through the lens of prominent figures of the 19th century: writers Walt Whitman and Louisa May Alcott, intellectual Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Confederate officer John Pelham, and army chaplain Arthur Fuller.

John Matteson, a distinguished professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is the author of A Worse Place than Hell: How the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg Changed a Nation.


This program will be held at the Reading Room in Bryant Park. The Reading Room is located on the 42nd Street side of the park between 5th and 6th Avenues. Look for the yellow and white umbrellas.

Inclement Weather: In case of foul or inclement weather, please check bryantpark.org or this page for the most up-to-date information on indoor relocation or postponement. You may also contact New-York Historical’s Department of Public Programs at public.programs@nyhistory.org or 212-485-9205.


Free Admission. No advance reservation is required. First come, first served.


This program is produced in partnership with the Bryant Park Corporation.

Creative: Tronvig Group