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Overview

In Lincoln Lessons, seventeen of today’s most respected academics, historians, lawyers, and politicians provide candid reflections on the importance of Abraham Lincoln in their intellectual lives. Their essays, gathered by editors Frank J. Williams and William D. Pederson, shed new light on this political icon’s remarkable ability to lead and inspire two hundred years after his birth.

Collected here are glimpses into Lincoln’s unique ability to transform enemies into steadfast ...

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Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America's Greatest Leader

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Overview

In Lincoln Lessons, seventeen of today’s most respected academics, historians, lawyers, and politicians provide candid reflections on the importance of Abraham Lincoln in their intellectual lives. Their essays, gathered by editors Frank J. Williams and William D. Pederson, shed new light on this political icon’s remarkable ability to lead and inspire two hundred years after his birth.

Collected here are glimpses into Lincoln’s unique ability to transform enemies into steadfast allies, his deeply ingrained sense of morality and intuitive understanding of humanity, his civil deification as the first assassinated American president, and his controversial suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War. The contributors also discuss Lincoln’s influence on today’s emerging democracies, his lasting impact on African American history, and his often-overlooked international legend—his power to instigate change beyond the boundaries of his native nation. While some contributors provide a scholarly look at Lincoln and some take a more personal approach, all explore his formative influence in their lives. What emerges is the true history of his legacy in the form of first-person testaments from those whom he has touched deeply.

Lincoln Lessons brings together some of the best voices of our time in a unique combination of memoir and history. This singular volume of original essays is a tribute to the enduring inspirational powers of an extraordinary man whose courage and leadership continue to change lives today.

Contributors

Jean H. Baker

Mario M. Cuomo

Joan L. Flinspach

Sara Vaughn Gabbard

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Harold Holzer

Harry V. Jaffa

John F. Marszalek

James M. McPherson

Edna Greene Medford

Sandra Day O’Connor

Mackubin Thomas Owens

William D. Pederson

Edward Steers Jr.

Craig L. Symonds

Thomas Reed Turner

Frank J. Williams

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Coeditors Williams (chief justice, Supreme Court of Rhode Island; Judging Lincoln) and Pederson (director, International Lincoln Ctr., Louisiana St. Univ., Shreveport; Grassroots Constitutionalism) hit upon an intriguing idea by asking various prominent Lincoln scholars (e.g., Doris Kearns Goodwin, James M. McPherson) and other notables who have studied him closely (e.g., Sandra Day O'Connor, Mario M. Cuomo) to relate how they first "met" Lincoln and how they've approached him. The result is a book that combines, in varying degrees, autobiography and argument. If a thematic thread runs throughout, it is that Lincoln demanded explanation, for he stood at the center of so many essential questions about America-the purpose and prospects of freedom, the nature of democracy, the qualities of great leadership, the limits of government, and America's place in the world. Some of the arguments here are distillations of ideas presented in fuller form elsewhere, and none of them will surprise any close student of Lincoln. Still, together, they remind us why Lincoln has such a powerful grip on the American imagination. [William D. Pederson is a longtime book reviewer in history and law for LJ.-Ed.]
—Randall M. Miller

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809386703
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 1/2/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 511,924
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Frank J. Williams is chief justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, cofounder of the Lincoln Forum, and a member of the executive committee of the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. He is the author of Judging Lincoln.

William D. Pederson is American Studies Endowed Chair in Liberal Arts, a professor of political science, and director of the International Lincoln Center at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. He is the author, coauthor, editor, or coeditor of more than twenty-five books on law, politics, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

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Table of Contents


Contents
Acknowledgments 00
Introduction 00
Frank J. Williams and William D. Pederson
1. Getting Right with Mary Lincoln or How a First Lady Taught Me to Be a Feminist 00
Jean H. Baker
2. Lincoln on Democracy 00
Mario M. Cuomo
3. A View from the Lincoln Museum 00
Joan Flinspach
4. The Evolution of a Lincoln Editor 00
Sara Gabbard
5. Transforming Foes to Allies: The Political Alchemy of Lincoln 00
Doris Kearns Goodwin
6. The Lincoln Visual Image: A Personal Journey of Discovery 00
Harold Holzer
7. A Political Philosopher¿s Defense of Lincoln 00
Harry V. Jaffa
8. Lincoln¿s Legacy for Our Time 00
James M. McPherson
9. Lincoln through the Eyes of a Civil War and Civil Rights Historian 00
John F. Marszalek
10. Lincoln and African American Memory 00
Edna Greene Medford
11. Suspension of Habeas Corpus 00
Sandra Day O¿Connor
12. Lincoln and the Meaning of Equality: How I Became a ¿Lost Cause¿ Apostate 00
Mackubin Thomas Owens
13. Crossing Borders to an International Lincoln 00
William D. Pederson
14. Tell Me What You Want to Believe, and I¿ll Tell You What You Will Believe 00
Edward Steers Jr.
15. Sixteen Feet Tall: Abraham Lincoln and History 00
Craig L. Symonds
16. Historian, Editor, and the Assassination Legacy 00
Thomas Reed Turner
17. The Compleat Lincolnator: Enthusiast, Collector, and Scholar 00
Frank J. Williams
Bibliography 00
Contributors 00
Photo credits 00
Index 00
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