Heather Cox Richardson is a political historian who uses facts and history to make observations about contemporary American politics. Her new book is How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America. Biography: I’m from rural Maine, was educated at Exeter and Harvard, and am now a professor of history at Boston College. I write books about the American past, and write articles about modern politics. The past informs my work on the present, not the other way around.