Photo of Robert CookRobert Cook
Emeritus Professor of American History (History)


Although I consider myself primarily as a historian of the United States during the era of the Civil War, my research interests lie at the intersection of race, politics and society in both the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. I have published seven books to date including popular surveys of the civil rights movement and the Civil War era as well as a well-received study of the Civil War Centennial of the 1960s, Troubled Commemoration (LSU Press, 2007), which was shortlisted for the Lincoln Prize in the United States, and a biography of the Civil War and Reconstruction-era statesman William Pitt Fessenden published by LSU Press in 2011.  My last book, Civil War Memories: Contesting the Past in the United States since 1865 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017), provides the backstory of the ongoing controversy over Confederate monuments and symbols in the United States. The project was funded by a British Academy research fellowship in 2014-15 and the book was awarded the British Association for American Studies Best Book Award in 2018. I have also written a number of articles on nineteenth-century US history which have appeared in international journals such as the Journal of the Civil War Era, Civil War History and the Journal of Southern History. My latest article, a study of northern responses to the death and funeral of Confederate president Jefferson Davis was published in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era in 2019. I have also contributed an essay on Civil War Memory in Maryland for a new essay collection on Maryland's Civil War edited by Jean Baker and Charley Mitchell (forthcoming, LSU Press). I am currently writing a history of the Unionist memory of the American Civil War.