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American Rambler with Colin Woodward


Oct 12, 2019

John Sacher is the head of the history department at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is also the author of A Perfect War of Politics: Parties, Politicians, and Democracy in Louisiana, 1824-1861. John has been on a steady career path, but as he tells Colin, he had his doubts about staying in the history game while he was in grad school.

John attended Notre Dame as an undergraduate. As much as he loved it there, he went to LSU for grad school. In Baton Rouge, he studied with William J. Cooper (a previous podcast guest). John completed a master's thesis and dissertation on Louisiana politics, which became the basis of his first book. After spending some years in Kansas, he is back in his home state of Florida. Now, he is finishing a book on conscription in the Confederacy, the first full-length scholarly book on the subject in many decades.

As John and Colin discuss, even for the most committed students, graduate school can be daunting. Also challenging is the move from scholar to administrator later in one's career--a path that might be as inevitable for some as it is practical.