Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Gerald J. Prokopowicz  

Pen Name: None



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Illinois Connection

Gerald J. Prokopowicz practiced law for several years in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Gerald J. Prokopowicz specializes in Public History and the Civil War era. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan, and practiced law for several years in Chicago. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, and served for nine years as the Lincoln Scholar at the Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he co-wrote the award winning permanent exhibit “Abraham Lincoln and the American Experiment,” and edited the quarterly bulletin Lincoln Lore.As a professor of public history, Dr. Prokopowicz is dedicated to training students to practice history outside of academia, and to removing the artificial barriers that divide academic historians from public historians and from the public itself. He is a member of the Advisory Board to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and the Lincoln Forum. He has written numerous reviews and articles for popular and scholarly periodicals. His current research interests include public perceptions of Abraham Lincoln and Civil War military tactics.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Did Lincoln Own Slaves?: And Other Frequently Asked Questions about Abraham Lincoln (Vintage Civil War Library)
ISBN: 0307279294

Vintage. 2009

In the bicentennial year of Lincoln's birth, here is the one indispensable book that provides all you need to know about our most revered president in a lively and memorable question-and-answer format.You will learn whether Lincoln could dunk a basketball or tell a joke. Was he the great emancipator or a racist? If he were alive today, could he get elected? Did he die rich? Did scientists raise Lincoln from the dead? From the seemingly lighthearted to the most serious Gerald Prokopowicz tackles each question with balance and authority, and weaves a complete, satisfying biography that will engage young and old, scholars and armchair historians alike.

All for the Regiment: The Army of the Ohio, 1861-1862 (Civil War America)
ISBN: 080782626X

The University of North Carolina Press. 2001

Despite its important role in the early years of the Civil War, the Army of the Ohio remains one of the least studied of all Union commands. With All for the Regiment, Gerald Prokopowicz deftly fills this surprising gap. He offers an engaging history of the army from its formation in 1861 to its costly triumph at Shiloh and its failure at Perryville in 1862.

Prokopowicz shows how the amateur soldiers who formed the Army of the Ohio organized themselves into individual regiments of remarkable strength and cohesion. Successive commanders Robert Anderson, William T. Sherman, and Don Carlos Buell all failed to integrate those regiments into an effective organization, however. The result was a decentralized and elastic army that was easily disrupted and difficult to command--but also nearly impossible to destroy in combat.

Exploring the army's behavior at minor engagements such as Rowlett's Station and Logan's Cross Roads, as well as major battles such as Shiloh and Perryville, Prokopowicz reveals how its regiment-oriented culture prevented the army from experiencing decisive results--either complete victory or catastrophic defeat--on the battlefield. Regimental solidarity was at once the Army of the Ohio's greatest strength, he argues, and its most dangerous vulnerability.

Speaking Engagements

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