By David J. Kent
Thursday, August 25, 2022
This has been a busy year for the Lincoln Group of DC, and for LGDC president David J. Kent it is about to get even busier. For starters, on September 1, 2022, he will appear on "A House Divided," the virtual book signing platform created by Abraham Lincoln Book Shop owner Daniel Weinberg.
The appearance coincides with the release date of David's newest book, Lincoln: The Fire of Genius: How Abraham Lincoln's Commitment to Science and Technology Helped Modernize America. The program will be livestreamed on the ALBS Facebook page. Viewers will be able to pose questions and order the book. All books pre-ordered or ordered from ALBS on September 1st will get a special "day of release" signed book plate in their book. Orders after that date will get a regular signed book plate, so it's a good idea to order early to ensure availability and the special signature. This will be the first official appearance for the new book, so it is not to be missed.
You can get more info -- including on viewing options other than Facebook -- on the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop website, and order the book in advance here. Dan will be interviewing David live about the book starting at 3:30 pm CST (that’s 4:30 pm ET for us East Coast folks, 2:30 pm Mountain Time, and 1:30 pm Pacific Time).
This won't be David's last appearance. Be sure to check out the Lincoln Group web page and RSVP for the official book launch party at Maggiano's restaurant on September 13, 2022. All in-person attendees will receive a swag bag full of Lincoln Group and Fire of Genius giveaways and raffles.
In case you missed it, editor of The Lincolnian newsletter, Wendy Swanson, interviewed David about the book in the most recent issue. Check your email (or join if you're not already a Lincoln Group member) to read the full interview, but here's a bit about the book:
Your new book - Lincoln: The Fire of Genius - is due out soon and we will be celebrating its launch party at our September meeting. Tell us a bit about the publication. What inspired you to write the book? What are the major themes/topics? Who is the targeted audience? Does one need a background in science to gain optimal benefit from reading the book?
Over my long career as a scientist, I noticed the scientific way Abraham Lincoln approached problem solving. As I dug deeper, I could see the thread of science and technology running through his life. The book extracts this thread and we see how fundamental it became to his overarching goal of “bettering his condition” as well as giving everyone – not just the wealthy elite – an equal chance in the race of life.
I look at this theme in each major aspect of his life – growing up on the farm, expanding interests as he plied the rivers and picked up technical trades and an education, how he became a go-to lawyer for patent and technology cases and his work for the railroads, and then of course in the Civil War. But I also look at his passion for internal improvements, “the science of slavery,” and the deep knowledge behind his science lectures. The book is targeted to those who know the basic story of Lincoln’s life, but don’t realize how much science and technology was woven into it. That said, the writing is breezy, not technical. It’s about Lincoln and his times, not an attempt to impress readers with technical jargon.
What do you aim to accomplish for your audience with this book? Are there lessons to be learned from Lincoln from this work? If so, what are they and how can they be applied in our daily lives?
I want readers to appreciate how science and technology helped drive progress during the 19th century, and how Lincoln’s appreciation for them helped not only to improve his own life but the lives of all Americans. In today’s age where science and scientists are disdained by “Google U.” instant “experts,” it’s important to see how Lincoln and others saw science as a benefit to humanity. When Lincoln didn’t understand something, he studied it until he did. We can all learn from that intellectual ethic.
So, join Dan Weinberg and the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop on September 1st for the live interview, then RSVP for the big book launch bash at Maggiano's on September 13th. Check out David's website for his full (and ever-expanding) appearance schedule for Lincoln: The Fire of Genius.