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The Historian's Lincoln: Pseudohistory, Psychohistory, and History Paperback – May 1, 1996

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Editorial Reviews


"For Lincoln specialists, The Historian's Lincoln deepens and sharpens familiar arguments. For nonspecialists, it is the most efficient and enjoyable way to 'get right' with Lincoln." Robert E. McGlone, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography "Provides an excursion to the frontiers of Lincoln scholarship, and insight into the passions of those who labor there... Rarely do the products of a scholarly symposium so richly deserve placement on public and academic library shelves." John Y. Simon, Choice "Authoritative, well written, and spiced by informed debate. In short, Lincoln's depth and height as a figure in history are well measured by this distinguished volume, not only in its several parts and authors, but also as a whole." Robert V. Bruce, author of Lincoln and the Tools of War

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; Illini Books ed edition (May 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252065441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252065446
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,345,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Omer Belsky on February 19, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Historian's Lincoln" is a collection of essays coming out of a Lincoln Symposium at the 175th anniversary of his birth. It offers a great deal of insight about Lincoln and about the Historical consciousness of the mid 1980s.
One of the things I like about this volume is the commentary and criticism about almost every individual article, sometimes including counter reactions. The reader benefits from the debate and critical analysis of the each essay.
The book has five parts. The First, "The Common People's Lincoln", is about Abraham Lincoln as seen in public. A Collection of photos from 'The Face of Lincoln' prefaces a discussion of the Public perception of "Honest Abe". For instance, Lincoln's growing a beard following his victory in the 1860 election kept photographers interested in his appearance.
Also in this section, "Abe Lincoln Laughing" by P.M.Zall argues that Lincoln used his sense of humor and the funny stories to win over his audience and get his message across. The critique, by Mark E. Neely, is that the humor was part of Lincoln's character, not an instrument for appeasing crowds. "His humor was a political liability with large segments of the populace... [the] fallacy that underlies much of Zall's paper - ... the "instrumental" view of Lincoln's humor" (p.29).
The second part of the book is titled "Ideology and Politics" and discusses some main issues of Lincoln's policies and presidency. In "Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream", Editor Gabor S. Boritt argues that the American Dream "the prosperity and liberties of the people" in Lincoln's words, were the goals Lincoln cared most about, and he defended the Union as the vehicle for it (p. 100).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Congratulations to the British and Gabor S. Boritt for publishing this very valuable book. Some times it's best to wait for a book to come out in 'soft cover'. This book is among one of these since it also contains 'responses' from symposium participants published in the original version. As a long time Lincoln reseacher I found this book an invaluable addition to all the dribble that's been published about him over the many years. At last some very good discussions and analysis.
Highly recommend it.
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The Historian's Lincoln: Pseudohistory, Psychohistory, and History
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