I was in the process of ordering Jeffrey McClurken’s new book on Amazon when I came across this hilarious book on Lincoln that is being published by Pelican Press. The book is titled, Lincoln Über Alles: Dictatorship Comes to America. Eat your heart out, DiLorenzo. The brief description is priceless: “Abraham Lincoln’s election was favorably influenced by the influx of German revolutionaries who fled Europe after the failed revolutions of 1848. Then, his agenda to establish a central government with unlimited political power caused the American Civil War. This fascinating book puts forth these arguments and also explores how, after the war, the legality of secession was viewed.”
On a different note, check out the thoughtful and hard-nosed critique of recently-published Lincoln studies by Sean Wilentz in The New Republic. One of the books reviewed is by our friend, John Stauffer, who clearly has trouble handling critiques of his scholarship.
Of course, most of you know that Burlingame recently published his massive 2-volume study of Abraham Lincoln. This talk was recorded at Illinois College on March 26, 2009. Click through the video to get the rest of his talk. In part 3 Burlingame suggests that Lincoln was assassinated by John W. Booth as a result of his suggestion that some blacks should be given the right to vote. He goes on to suggest that Lincoln’s assassiantion should be understood as part of a larger narrative that includes Martin L. King, Medgar Evers, Michael Schwermer and other civil rights advocates. I think he is right about the first point, but I’m not sure I buy the second. Regardless, Burlingame is one of the more thoughtful Lincoln scholars and you are sure to learn something.
I am making my way through Barry Schwartz’s Abraham Lincoln in the Post-Heroic Era: History and Memory in Late Twentieth-Century America (University of Chicago Press, 2009) and learning quite a bit about the gradual decline of his prestige following WWII. In chapter 5 I came across a reference to a series of short cartoons titled, “Hard Drinkin Lincoln”, which was done by Icebox.com. A quick search on YouTube brought up three episodes. Please don’t watch this if you are easily offended. Enjoy!
Episode 2: “Super Abe”
Episode 5: “The Rocky Hitler”
Before driving 60 miles for what you believe to be a scheduled event double-check the date. That’s right, Michaela and I drove to Richmond today for a walking tour of Lincoln’s visit to the city in April 1865 only to discover that it is actually scheduled for tomorrow. I guess I just assumed that a walking tour would take place on Saturday. Well, we made the best of it. In fact, we had a great time in Richmond. Although it was a bit windy the temperature was perfect and the downtown area was very quiet. We walked Lincoln’s route from the area around Rockett’s Landing to the Capitol grounds. Luckily, I had my copy of Nelson Lankford’s Richmond Burning: The Last Days of the Confederate Capital, which made it easy for us to imagine the throngs of Richmonders who came out to welcome Lincoln to the city. Along the way we had a chance to stop at the Reconciliation Monument as well as the new Civil Rights Monument. We also toured the capitol building for about an hour with a wonderful guide. On the way back we walked along the canal and grabbed a bite to eat at Bookbinders.
Additional photographs can be found at my flickr site.