This will be the ninth time Dr. Sommers has been a speaker at the Eastern Pennsylvania Civil War Round Table, beginning in 1979 and occurring most recently in 2008. This presentation by Dr. Sommers offers a different perspective on the causes of the American Civil War -- a perspective propounded by the ancient Greek general and historian Thucydides in the 5th Century, B.C. Far from being unique to his time and place, his principles endure through the ages right up to today. They are still studied by professional military officers at staff colleges and war colleges for their lasting lessons in leadership. They also invite consideration by students of the 1860s, for they may help us understand the outbreak of our own Civil War."
Dr. Richard J. Sommers served for 43+ years at the U.S. Army Military History Institute/U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center. Even after nominally “retiring” as the Senior Historian of the Center in January of 2014, he continues teaching in the U.S. Army War College, writing about the Civil War, and speaking to Civil War groups across the nation. He has published over 100 books, articles, chapters, entries, and reviews on the Civil War. His most recent book – the expanded, revised, 150th Anniversary edition of Richmond Redeemed: The Siege at Petersburg – was published by Savas-Beatie in September, 2014. It was honored by the Army Historical Foundation with a Distinguished Writing Award as the best expanded reprint book of 2014 on Army history. In May, 2015, he was designated a Distinguished Fellow of the U.S. Army War College, an honor accorded to only one per cent of the approximately 3400 faculty who have taught at that institution since 1950. A graduate of Carleton College with a doctorate from Rice University, he was born and raised in suburban Chicagoland. He and his wife, Tracy, reside in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.