P&P Live! David S. Reynolds — Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times - with Harold Holzer

Upcoming Event
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 4:00pm

David S. Reynolds understands the currents in which Abraham Lincoln swam as well as anyone alive. His magisterial biography Abe is the product of full-body immersion into the riotous tumult of American life in the decades before the Civil War.

It was a country growing up and being pulled apart at the same time, with a democratic popular culture that reflected the country's contradictions. Lincoln's lineage was considered auspicious by Emerson, Whitman, and others who prophesied that a new man from the West would emerge to balance North and South. From New England Puritan stock on his father's side and Virginia Cavalier gentry on his mother's, Lincoln was linked by blood to the central conflict of the age. And an enduring theme of his life, Reynolds shows, was his genius for striking a balance between opposing forces. Lacking formal schooling but with an unquenchable thirst for self-improvement, Lincoln had a talent for wrestling and bawdy jokes that made him popular with his peers, even as his appetite for poetry and prodigious gifts for memorization set him apart from them through his childhood, his years as a lawyer, and his entrance into politics.

No one can transcend the limitations of their time, and Lincoln was no exception. But what emerges from Reynolds's masterful reckoning is a man who at each stage in his life managed to arrive at a broader view of things than all but his most enlightened peers. Abraham Lincoln did not come out of nowhere. But if he was shaped by his times, he also managed at his life's fateful hour to shape them to an extent few could have foreseen. Ultimately, this is the great drama that astonishes us still, and that Abe brings to fresh and vivid life. The measure of that life will always be part of our American education.

David S. Reynolds is a Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography, winner of the Bancroft Prize and the Ambassador Book Award. His other books include Beneath the American Renaissance (winner of the Christian Gauss Award), John Brown, Abolitionist, and Mightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America. He is a regular book reviewer for The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, and The Wall Street Journal.

Harold Holzer is the recipient of the 2015 Gilder-Lehrman Lincoln Prize. One of the country's leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era, Holzer was appointed chairman of the US Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission by President Bill Clinton and awarded the National Humanities Medal by President George W. Bush. He currently serves as the director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, City University of New York. His new book is The Presidents vs. The Press (Dutton).

Click here to join the Live! event 

Instead of a set ticket price, we ask that you contribute what you can to support Politics and Prose Bookstore and our virtual event series. We know that everyone has been affected in these trying times, and we will continue to make our programming accessible to all. That said, a suggested contribution of $5, $10, whatever you can afford, will go a long way to keep our programming—and our bookstore—afloat as we are forced to adapt to new ways of business.  

The other way you can support us is always by purchasing a book from our website. 

We are so grateful to be surrounded by such a loyal and engaged community and we thank you for your support, now and always. 

Politics and Prose Live!
Washington, DC 20008
Non Fiction
Offsite
Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times Cover Image
$45.00
ISBN: 9781594206047
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Press - September 29th, 2020

Not Signed or Personalized