Lincoln Lessons

Lincoln Lessons : Reflections on America's Greatest Leader

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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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  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 20.32mm | 408.23g
  • Southern Illinois University Press
  • CarbondaleUnited States
  • English
  • 0809328917
  • 9780809328918
  • 519,152

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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.--Randall M. Miller"Library Journal" (04/15/2009)"

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About Jean Harvey Baker

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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