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Publishers WeeklyIn this special edition of their annual Best American History Essays, the Organization of American Historians tasked Princeton University professor Wilentz to collect the best of Lincoln scholarship from the past 60 years. Each of the eleven essays come from a noted historian considering the 16th President from a different angle; included are Richard Hofstadter on Lincoln the self-made myth, Jean H. Baker on Lincoln the husband, John Hope Franklin on Lincoln the decider, Richard N. Current on Lincoln the "master politician," and James Oliver Horton on Lincoln the "strange, friendless, uneducated, penniless boy." Wilentz organizes the material in themes-general overview, the private man, the public figure, and the commander-in-chief-and, though some of the writing can be dry and dense, manages to stave off redundancy. Full of closely-observed commentary and genuine insight, this roundup with be appreciated most by students and serious armchair historians.
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