Abraham Lincoln

The Myth of Northern Unity

Myth might be too strong a word, but we have a tendency to minimize or overlook entirely the extent to which the loyal citizenry of the United States remained bitterly divided over key policies of the Lincoln administration, especially emancipation. Perhaps it would be more accurate to describe this tendency as a blind spot. Our Read more

I am a huge fan of John Carpenter’s Halloween series. It has become a sort of tradition for me every October to watch each film multiple times leading up to Halloween night. Yes, the first two in the series are by far the best, but I also enjoy some of the later installments, especially H20 Read more

Lincoln in the Bardo (Video)

Picked up George Saunders’s new novel Lincoln in the Bardo on Thursday and finished it yesterday. I can’t recommend it enough. It is an unconventional narrative structured around fragments from letters, histories, memoirs as well as the voices of three guides stuck between the living and the dead, who attempt to help a recently deceased Read more

Today the Republican Party decided to mark Abraham Lincoln’s birthday with the following tweet. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that Lincoln ever uttered or wrote these words. Amazingly, the manager of this twitter account has yet to take the tweet down or issue a correction. It is certainly not the most egregious example of fake Read more

This weekend I will be leading a teacher workshop at the Massachusetts Historical Society, which focuses on Abraham Lincoln’s evolving views on race and slavery. As part of my presentation I am going to utilize excerpts from seven primary sources that I believe highlight Lincoln’s thinking on these topics and that also point to important Read more

Today my review copy of Elizabeth Brown Pryor’s book, Six Encounters With Lincoln: A President Confronts Democracy and its Demons, arrived. The book will be officially released next week. I’ve been anticipating the release of this book for some time, but its publication is accompanied by a good deal of sadness. As many of you Read more

This past week Daniel Crofts delivered a Banner Lecture at the Virginia Historical Society that focuses on the crux of his new book, Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery: The Other Thirteenth Amendment and the Struggle to Save the Union. The book does an excellent job of clarifying the issues surrounding Lincoln’s position on an Read more

Making Lincoln Great Again

This is from a recent interview that Donald Trump gave to The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward. I think it is safe to say that Woodward knew not to follow up on Trump’s response. Like just about everything else that comes out of his mouth, this is both horrifying and hilarious. The historian David Donald wrote Read more

With the presidential election season moving into high gear it is just a matter of time before we are bombarded with the tired references to the Founding Fathers and Abraham Lincoln. It’s all about “getting right” with these men, but this past week Mike Huckabee completely missed the boat when he referenced Lincoln in his Read more

For Mr. Lincoln

1 When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d, And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night, I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring. Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring, Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west, And thought of him I love. 2 O Read more