Barbara Berenson gave a talk on Boston and the Civil War to a packed crowd at the Massachusetts Historical Society. The talk explored how the seed of the abolitionist movement grew in the heart of New England on the same streets and, in some cases, in the same families, that had brought forth the American Revolution. Her exploration of this theme was both well researched and demonstrated her excitement for the subject. The audience was engaged and the response to was overwhelmingly positive.
Massachusetts Historical Society
The story Barbara tells is so compelling, and her historian's credibility so impressive, you won't want the lecture to end.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Brandeis
We were thrilled to have Barbara Berenson speak to our volunteer docents about Boston in the the years leading up to the Civil War. Her lecture covered a lot of ground and struck the perfect tone - it was informative, engaging and her enthusiasm was infectious! Our inquisitive docents appreciated the time she took to answer their questions and address certain topics of interest more throughly after the lecture. It was a fun evening and the perfect enrichment activity for a cold winter's night!
Boston by Foot
Barbara Berenson gave a presentation at the Lyman Estate in April on Boston’s involvement leading up to and during the Civil War. Her 50 minute illustrated lecture, which was an overview of what she delves into in her book Boston and the Civil War: Hub of the Second Revolution, was engaging and contained a large amount of interesting information. She responded to questions in great detail and left the audience wanting to know more. Her ease of speaking and not needing to read from a script made the talk even better. Visitors clearly enjoyed the program and many left complimenting her presentation and knowledge of the subject matter. I particularly appreciate that she went out of her way to look into and then highlight the roles Theodore Lyman II and III had within this conflict. I look forward to scheduling another lecture with Barbara soon!
Historic New England
Barbara Berenson presented an illustrated talk last night at the Framingham Public Library about her new book, “Boston and the Civil War” and it was outstanding. Barbara’s talk focused on the events that led up to the Civil War and the role that Boston played in the abolition of slavery. Barbara clearly has a mastery of her topic and she communicates her enthusiasm about the topic to her audience. Barbara’s stories about William Lloyd Garrison, The Grimke sisters, Anthony Burns and many others added interest to her presentation.
I was also impressed that Barbara never read from her book, she knows her material and talks to the audience.
She answered all questions from the audience and remained in the room to answer questions from individuals after her talk. We look forward to having her return to the Library to speak about her next book.
Framingham Public Library
Barbara Berenson’s talk on Boston and the Civil War was both extremely informative and accessible. She described in rich detail the growth of Boston’s abolitionist movement in a way that had audience members completely engaged and wanting to hear more. It was clear to all present that Barbara really knew her material and loved her topic. After her talk she was surrounded by people asking questions for nearly an hour.
Royall House and Slave Quarters
On behalf of the Burlington Historical Society, we thank you for your thorough and enthusiastic presentation of your latest book, BOSTON AND THE CIVIL WAR – HUB OF THE SECOND REVOLUTION.
Barbara recaptured the history of Boston and the surrounding area in years leading to the Civil War. It was certainly an awakening to historical facts of that period. Her knowledge and enthusiasm helped to enrich our understanding of Massachusetts’ role leading to the end of slavery and the coming of the Civil War.
Our membership overwhelmingly approved and enjoyed your presentation and look forward to BARBARA BERENSON returning and discussing her new book which will be about the Woman Suffrage Movement in Massachusetts.
Burlington Historical Society
Ms. Berenson presented an intriguing and insightful discussion of the important role many Boston residents played in the events leading up to the Civil War. She described the growth of the abolitionist movement and the influence of Andrew Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimke, David Walker and Harriet Beecher Stowe among others. Her knowledge and enthusiasm was impressive.
Belmont Historical Society
The Union Club of Boston was founded to support the Union during the Civil War. Therefore, when Barbara Berenson addressed the members with such a powerful description of Boston’s immense role in the victory, she received a standing ovation. Her talk emphasized the important part that Boston played toward a favorable solution of that struggle. She combined intriguing information about the growing power of the Abolitionists and included biographies of specific leaders prominent in that vital movement. Her knowledge and research allowed her to discuss the subtle change in American thinking because of the messages visually illustrating the horrors of slavery delivered by impressive speakers that represented the pro-union believers.
She emphasized the contributions by giants of freedom such as Angelina Grimke, Frederick Douglas and Harriett Beecher Stowe and others. Barbara’s delivery makes each listener feel as if they are having a private conversation together because of engaging, informative and ease of discussion important facts. The question and answer period was more like a friendly exchange between family members who were all fascinated about a particular subject. Every member left the Club feeling as if they had just spent a meaningful evening of learning and exchanging information with friends.
Union Club of Boston
Barbara Berenson has presented twice to the Wellesley Historical Society on the subject of Boston in the Civil War. On both occasions she captivated the audience with her lively style and extensive knowledge of the city and its critical role as the hub of the abolitionist movement in America. Barbara displays an extensive knowledge of the Bostonians from all walks of life who made this such a fascinating time in our history. Wellesley Historical Society
Thank you, Barbara! Your presentation of "Boston and the Civil War" was outstanding. Our membership was overwhelmed by your knowledge of the subject matter and ease with which you answered questions. You have been receiving rare reviews. Many thanks again from the Lunch, Listen and Learn Committee of Lifelong Learning at Regis College. We very much look forward to hearing about your next book! and definitely recommend you as an excellent speaker!
Regis College Lifetime Learning
On behalf on Newton Community Educations's (NCE) Lifetime Learning program, I wanted to thank you for your presentation on your latest bookCivil War Boston: Hub of the Second Revolution. Your understanding and enthusiasm of the historical events was very informative and insightful. I heard from a number of attendees after your talk that they very much appreciated and enjoyed your presentation and wanted me to know that when you new book comes out that they would like it if you could come back and give another presentation.
Newton Community Education Lifetime Learning
Erudition, eloquence, and enthusiasm are an unbeatable combination in a speaker. That Barbara Berenson is amply gifted with all three qualities is plainly evident in her outstanding presentation. She certainly earned our highest recommendation.
Rhode Island Civil War Round Table
On behalf of the Club, I want to thank you for superb lecturing and guiding last evening. A stimulating, educational and congenial gathering!
With your intellectual savvy & contagious enthusiasm, you certainly epitomize the Harvard spirit.
Harvard Club of Boston
Barbara Berenson gave a spirited and very informative talk at the Somerville Museum about the role that the abolitionists of Greater Boston played in fomenting the second revolution of our country. I have heard her talk in three different venues now about her recently published book on Boston and the Civil War, and she never fails to provide new insights into this critical period in American history! Her passion for the subject is contagious, and her knowledge and presentation of the subject is inspiring. We now look forward to her speaking to our high school history students and teachers, to further share her extensive research and commentary!
We in Falmouth were honored to have Barbara come to Cape Cod and discuss the involvement ofBoston and Massachusetts to the events leading up to and including the Civil War. She was thoroughly engaging, poignant and thorough with her facts. The audience was delighted with her discussion and it was wonderful to talk about that era in depth. We would recommend her appear to any group that wants to be involved in a gripping lecture about the Civil War.
Falmouth Historical Society
Guests of Historic Newton and the Newton Free Library enjoyed an absorbing talk by Barbara Berenson, author of Boston and the Civil War. Berenson considered the experiences of several categories of Bostonians (Irish immigrants, African-Americans, women, soldiers, Abolitionists), illuminating their roles before and during the Civil War as well as the ways in which the era's
events affected each group. Her talk was informal, information-packed, and engaging. A wonderful evening!
Historic Newton and Newton Free Library
A truly outstanding talk! Barbara is a gifted speaker: poised, incredibly knowledgeable, interesting and engaging. The group was comprised of both historians as well as people less familiar with the subject-and Barbara successfully spoke to everyone. Through her stories and slides she brought to life what was occurring in Boston. Truly fascinating. We’d love to have her return and continue where she left off. In the meantime, we are all reading the book! Thank you Barbara!
Harvard Club of Concord
Ms. Berenson presented to the Never Too Late Group at the Central Library of the Boston Public Library. The audience members were impressed with her knowledge and they asked many relevant questions. They complimented Ms. Berenson on her fine and personable way of speaking while at the podium. Her enthusiasm and love for her subject shone through during her presentation to the group.
Boston Public Library
Barbara Berenson composed an excellent, historically accurate, and timely Civil War Tour for the Massachusetts State House for the Massachusetts Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. She then led the inaugural tour in connection with the Commission's 2014 State House Civil War Christmas Celebration. To highlight the significance of Berenson's outstanding Civil War tour, her script will be used by the State House Tours Division when it commences its offering of the MA State House Civil War Tour on a regular basis in January 2015. The Commission and the MA State House Historical Society extend sentiments of deepest gratitude and appreciation to Ms. Berenson for her pivotal and invaluable role.
The MA Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and the MA State House Historical Society
We have had the pleasure of hearing Barbara speak on two different occasions. Our book group first met Barbara a few years ago after we’d read Tony Horwitz’ book, Midnight Rising, about John Brown. We met with Barbara for a walking tour of Boston’s connections to abolition and the coming of the Civil War, and found her knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject matter extraordinary.
Following the recent publication of her book, we invited Barbara to Acton to a community gathering. Those of us in the audience found that she had unearthed much additional information, and we appreciated her thorough research and numerous anecdotes of the years leading up to the Civil War. We loved that she found so many new tidbits to enrich our understanding of Massachusetts’ role in abolitionism and the coming of the Civil War. Her presentation occurred several days before the celebration of Patriots’ Day, so her remarks about “the second revolution” were timely, including the story of the first casualties of the Civil War occurring with the 6th Massachusetts Volunteer Militia in Baltimore on April 19, 1861. Our book group read her book and we presented each of our new members with a copy. You will discover, as we did, that the topic of Boston’s role in the lead-up to the Civil War is her passion.
Acton League of Women Voters
Barbara Berenson gave her first illustrated presentation on her new book, Boston and the Civil War, in the North End on July 16. Most of the attendees were members of the North End Historical Society, which co-sponsored the talk with the Old North Foundation. Berenson is an engaging speaker, and she shared beautiful images of the people and places in her book. We learned about Southerners like Angelina Grimke and Frederick Douglass, who “brought first hand stories about slavery to the North,” thus raising awareness, and increasing tensions, in the young nation. Berenson was also sure to focus on how Massachusetts was central to the fight to end slavery, the war to save the Union, and the eventual merging of these two goals by 1863. Berenson delighted the group.This is the second talk she gave for the NEHS (the first was about the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti), and we look forward to a third visit soon.
North End Historical Society
You are a great speaker and wonderful guide!
Massachusetts State House Tours Program
Berenson's lecture last night at our Civil War Round Table was first rate. Our membership gave her top marks. It's a difficult to understand topic and she delivered results. Her presentation was one hour. She knows her topic very well, and her excellent delivery style was praised by all. We highly recommend her as a speaker.
New Bedford Civil War Round Table
I wanted to thank you again for the wonderful walking tour. Our group was very impressed with your knowledge and your presentation. You have enlightened us about the abolition movement and our need as citizens to understand and embrace this second liberty movement in the United States. You were also a joy to work with in setting up the tour. Again, thank you and I wish you continued success.
League of Women Voters
Our members were the most engaged and inquisitive that I've ever seen on a walking tour. I hope to repeat this event next year.
South End Historical Society
Barbara Berenson made an outstanding presentation to our membership. Barbara's extensive knowledge and mastery of Boston's contribution to the major events leading up to the Civil War gave our members new insight and a greater appreciation of Boston's major role. The feedback was excellent.
Olde Colony Civil War Roundtable
We at Boston Mensa would like to thank you for speaking at our annual gathering.Your presentation was very well received by our members. Thank you for your outstanding presentation.
Thank you for speaking at Fuller Village about your book Walking Tours of Civil War Boston. The folks here really enjoyed your engaging program! Your enthusiasm and depth of knowledge were apparent in this outstanding talk.
Ms. Berenson's presentation at our annual Lincoln Birthday Brunch was captivating, educational and entertaining. Her research into Boston's important Civil War history was in depth and comprehensive, and brought to the forefront a crucial historical period of Boston that had long been forgotten or ignored. Her impressive knowledge of events and historical figures, from early Abolitionism and the Underground Railroad to Boston political leaders and military heroes, was admired and appreciated by those in attendance, many of whom are Civil War scholars themselves. I received nothing but accolades for Ms. Berenson's appearance from our Members, and look forward to touring Boston with her book as our guide.
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Our senior community was very interested in Barbara’s book on Boston and The Civil War. Her lecture was engaging, factual and entertaining. We have already invited her back!
Waterstone at Wellesley
On behalf of the Sharon Adult Center, I would like to thank you for the wonderful presentation you gave last week at the Center based on your recent book, 'Boston and the Civil War:Hub of the Second Revolution'.
We have been fortunate in that we have been able to engage a variety of speakers on a diverse array of topics. While most, I can say, have been very effective it is rare however, to have a speaker who is as fluid and engaging as you were. Without a single reference to notes you to proceeded to give us a fascinating picture of this period in our history. Afterward with time for questions, you were generous in your response and answered fully and specifically to the questions posed.
A testament to your presentation were the many attendees who purchased your book, which completely sold out the quantity you brought with you. This does not happen often.
Sharon Adult Center
Review in Lawyer's Weekly
WBUR Radio Open Source:
60 Minutes to Freedom: A Tour of Civil War Boston
Metro West and Tab Newspapers Review
New England Cable News Interview, August 2014
WritersBone Sunday Brunch Podcast
History Press Blog
Newton Cable TV Interview
WBUR: Radio Boston Interview
Ghosts of the Civil War
© 2018 Barbara F. Berenson, all rights reserved.
Walking Tours of Civil War Boston is an official guidebook of the Freedom Trail Foundation®, Boston, MA. Freedom Trail® is a registered trademark of the Freedom Trail Foundation. Boston and the Civil War: Hub of the Second Revolution is published by The History Press.
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