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American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Jul 17, 2020

Robert Gudmestad is a native of Minnesota who teaches history at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He knows Colin from his days as a grad student at LSU, where they both worked with the imposing figure of Charles Royster, the late scholar of the Early Republic, the Civil War, and colonial Vietnam. 

Bob is the author of two books, A Troublesome Commerce (2003), about the domestic slave trade, and Steamboats and the Rise of the Cotton Kingdom (2011). As he tells Colin, he never approached his career with much of a plan. He had a good job before he attended grad school. Even so, he decided doing history was a better fit for him. That journey took him to Richmond and then Baton Rouge, where he enjoyed good food, football, and the pleasures of a monastic academic existence.

Recorded in early June, Colin and Rob talk about the then growing Black Lives Matter protests and the fate of Confederate monuments. They reflect on he eccentric side of professional historians, and discuss at length Bob's new research project, which looks at the role Union gunboats played in the western theater of the Civil War.