Everyone is welcome at our monthly meetings


See list of meeting dates and speakers below for our 2015-2016 program year.

Copies of recorded meetings are available for a small charge. Click here for a printable list of recorded meetings. More current meetings can be viewed on Youtube.

Our meetings are held at:

Holiday Inn O'Hare
5615 N. Cumberland
Chicago, IL 60631
Parking at the Holiday Inn is FREE
Map and Directions


Dinner $50.00 Members and Non- Members
Cocktails at 5:30, Dinner at 6:30

Presentation only is $10 per person.
Payable at the door, cash or check. Be there by 7:15. For those attending the presentation only, your reservation is appreciated but not required.

Dinner reservations should be received by Sunday evening prior to the meeting. When you make your dinner reservation, please be sure to indicate your entrée choice.

Please make reservations your reservation in advance by emailing DinnerReservations@ChicagoCWRT.org with the names of your party and choice of entre'e or calling (630) 460-1865

Cancellations: email us at DinnerReservations@ChicagoCWRT.org  or call (630) 460-1865

Entrée choices are:
   Chicken Teriyaki
   Tilapia

February 12, 2016
Don Doyle on:

The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War

Abraham Lincoln was not exaggerating when he characterized the United States as the “last best hope of earth.” Across Europe and Latin America the beleaguered experiment in government by the people seemed doomed by the Civil War. Many foreigners watched in horror as the “Great Republic” descended into fratricidal war, while some cheered the failure of the “republican experiment.”

In his new book The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War (Basic Books; January 2, 2015), Doyle reinterprets this quintessential American story as an epic global battle that would decide not only the future of slavery but democracy itself. While the war was fought on the battlefields back home, an equally crucial contest took place in the public squares of Europe. Confederate emissaries scurried abroad to make their case for recognition, while Union diplomats answered with threats of war against any nation that dared to aid the rebellion. Both sides at first denied slavery to be at issue, and foreigners were left wondering whether it really mattered who won. In what became a major public diplomacy contest, foreign political leaders, journalists, and intellectuals quickly took sides according to their own political agendas at home. While Confederates played to aristocratic distrust of “extreme democracy” and “fanatical egalitarianism,” Unionists appealed to embattled republican ideals of equality, self-rule, and liberty for all. Their cause was the cause of all nations, they told the world. Doyle portrays the Civil War as a crucial turning point in the global struggle for freedom and democracy and presents a bold and much-needed account of the international dimensions of America’s defining conflict.

Don H. Doyle is McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina. He grew up near Berkley, California, graduated from the University of California, Davis, and earned his PhD in history at Northwestern University. He was a Fulbright professor in Rome, Genoa, and Rio de Janeiro and taught at Leeds University in England. He lives in Columbia, South Carolina.

For our 2015-16 program year, we proudly welcome these outstanding speakers:

Sept. 11, 2015 Dale Philips on Capture of New Orleans

Oct. 9, 2015 Dennis Frye on Nevins Freeman Award: John Brown: The Spark that Ignited War

Nov. 11, 2015 Philip Leigh on Trading with the Enemy

Dec. 11, 2015 Dave Keller on Camp Douglas

Jan 8, 2016 David Moore on William S. Rosecrans

Feb 12, 2016 Don Doyle on The Cause of all Nations

Mar. 11, 2016 Bruce Kraig on Why the Civil War Made our Modern Food

Apr. 8, 2016: Greg Briggs on Nashville: Siren's Song of the Confederacy

May 13, 2016 Glenna Schroeder-Lein on The Soldiers Home in the Civil War

June 10, 2016: Dale Philips on Ben Butler and the Federal Occupation of New Orleans