Abraham Lincoln’s Political Life

This is Sidney Blumenthal at the Abraham Lincoln Institute/Ford’s Theatre Symposium held March 19, 2016 at Ford’s Theatre. Blumenthal is the author of A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1849, Volume 1.

The video’s description reads, ” ‘A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln 1809-1849’ was part of the Abraham Lincoln Institute’s 19th annual symposium on ‘The Latest in Lincoln Scholarship.’ Co-sponsored by the Ford’s Theatre Society and the Illinois State Society of Washington, D.C., it was held at Ford’s Theatre.”

There’s nothing we can learn from this video that we can’t get from David Donald’s biography of Lincoln or, for that matter, from Michael Burlingame’s 2-volume biography of Lincoln. In fact, either of those would be better sources for us. The presentation reminded me of a high school student delivering a report on a term paper. It’s marked by shallow analysis as well as some questionable claims. Blumenthal claims Lincoln founded the Illinois Republican Party, for example. I hope his book comes across better than his presentation did.



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