Looks Like Harold Holzer

is becoming Dimitri Rotov’s new James McPherson.  Apparently Dimitri discovered his personal website, but what I was dumbfounded to read on his blog was a criticism of Holzer’s latest edited collection.  There is no evidence that Dimitri has read it, but he feels qualified to make the following statement:

With the advent of the Bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth, we are racing towards a huge substance deficit, one which this book appears to be feeding. How many more clapped-together essay collections are going to be branded by such as Holzer to then die an unlamented, humiliating sales death, in fact, to poison booksellers against the very topic of Lincoln, before the Bicentennial even arrives?

I actually own this book and have read through four of the essays.  Some are better than others, which is about right when it comes to edited collections.  That said, the book – which concentrates on emancipation and the Thirteenth Amendment – includes essays by some of the leading scholars in the field of Lincoln studies.  I am planning to use Phil Paludan’s piece in my Lincoln course.  I have no problem at all with criticism, but this kind of assessment is nothing more than drivel.

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