Tag: abraham lincoln

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The Joys of Public History

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On July 23, 2020
This story from Illinois says so much about how hard it is to do public history with integrity. Just months after authoring a critical report that raised further questions about the provenance of a multimillion dollar stovepipe hat purported to have been owned by President Abraham Lincoln, Illinois’ state historian is out of a job. […]
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This is the grave of William Herndon. Born in 1818 in Greensburg, Kentucky, Herndon’s parents moved to the frontier of Illinois in 1820. His father was an early businessman in Springfield, building the city’s first tavern, which was definitely not its last. He also served as a state senator between 1825 and 1836. So it […]
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The Spectrum of Racism

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On June 25, 2017
Eric Foner kind of eviscerates a new book on Lincoln and slavery that overplays Lincoln’s racism. The most important point is the last because it has great relevance for how many of us think about race. Kaplan, in other words, employs racism as a deus ex machina — something that exists outside of history but […]
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Undoing a Historical Event

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On May 22, 2015
An interesting hypothetical at Aeon: Which historical event would you undo? My first thought was that John C. Calhoun was not born. But upon further reflection, it’s fairly obvious from a U.S. history perspective: the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The difference between whatever Lincoln would have done from 1865-68 compared to Andrew Johnson would have […]

Marxist Lincoln

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On August 12, 2014

Look, if you have mainstream Republicans looking to return the nation to the next Gilded Age, it only makes sense that really crazy right-wingers would be longing wistfully for the earlier period of s

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