Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America's Greatest Leader

Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America's Greatest Leader


Edited by Frank J. Williams, Edited by William D. Pederson, By (author) Jean Harvey Baker, By (author) Mario M. Cuomo, By (author) Joan L. Flinspach, By (author) Sara Vaughn Gabbard, By (author) Doris Kearns Goodwin, By (author) Harold Holzer, By (author) Harry V. Jaffa, By (author) John F. Marszalek

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  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 229mm x 20mm | 408g
  • Publication date: 15 February 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Carbondale
  • ISBN 10: 0809328917
  • ISBN 13: 9780809328918
  • Edition: 2
  • Sales rank: 475,409

Product description

This title provides personal reflections on Lincoln's life and legacy. 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.

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Author information

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.

Review quote

Seventeen authors describe their experiences with the Lincoln subject. They are Jean H. Baker, Mario M. Cuomo, Joan Flinspach, Sara Vaugh 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 and Frank J. Williams. Their tales make for entertaining reading. Some, of course, are more interesting than others. Overall, a reader will enjoy this volume. Doris Kearns Goodwin reveals her inner thoughts concerning "Team of Rivals, "her immensely successful book. Harold Holzer details his career with Lincoln images. Frank J. Williams traces his interest in Abraham Lincoln from his youth to his present leadership in the field. Edna Greene Medford gives a unique story of her experience as an African-American scholar writing on Lincoln. Craig L. Symonds admits that as a four-year-old kindergarten pupil he thought of Lincoln as "Sixteen Feet Tall." To savor this volume, one must read all the fine chapters. Such an endeavor will be well worth your while. However, a word of caution when you read reference number 12 in chapter one. Here are the facts: Mary Lincoln Beckwith died in 1975, and the family estate, Hildene, became the property of her brother, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith. He allowed James T. Hickey to examine the mansion where Hickey discovered Robert Todd Lincoln's file of personal papers in a room just off the study. Here, Hickey found the "MTL Insanity File" tied together with ribbon. It was, indeed, find of a lifetime for Lincoln scholars. In May of 1981, Mr. Beckwith determined to have R. Gerald McMurtry and Mark E. Neely, Jr. publish that collection of documents. He termed this team, "competent Lincoln scholars." Both were at Fort Wayne, Indiana. Mr, Beckwith determined to divide h