By David J. Kent
Monday, March 22, 2021
David Reynolds has been on a roll. His book, Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times, has been given the annual book award by the Abraham Lincoln Institute (ALI). The book also recently won the prestigious Lincoln Prize, awarded by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
Reynolds, a Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, will also be one of ALI's speakers tonight (March 22, 2021) as part of the annual ALI Symposium. You can see the full ALI Symposium lineup on the Lincoln Group of DC website.
Abe is an epic biography, over 1000 pages of Abraham Lincoln's life. Unlike other biographies, Abe puts Lincoln squarely into the culture of his times. As Reynolds so adeptly relates, Lincoln's rise is both inhibited and accelerated by the prevailing cultures of Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and the nation as the country expands westward and the paradox between "all men are created equal" and chattel slavery explodes into its ultimate conflict. This view of Lincoln, not as a man in vacuum but as a product of, a champion over, the cultural mores of the 19th century is what sets this book far above biographies that preceded it.
The Abraham Lincoln Institute continues its virtual symposium (see the link above) as it transitions into a new leadership team - a team in which members of the Lincoln Group of DC prominently figure. That's a topic of another post, so check back here again soon.