H. W. Brands holds the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin. He has written more than a dozen biographies and histories, including the "The General vs. the President," a New York Times best-seller, and "The Zealot and the Emancipator," his most recent book. Two of his biographies, "The First American" and "Traitor to His Class," were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. "Our First Civil War" is his most recent work.