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tv   2021 Lincoln Prize  CSPAN  July 5, 2021 6:55pm-8:01pm EDT

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annette gordon reed talks about american presidents. slavery, and emancipation. editor news argues the mainstream media has destroyed his credibility. find more information at booktv.org or consult your program guide. here is 2021 lincoln prize. >> good evening and welcome. i am the senior high school in new york city and a member of the student advisory council of american history. i've been accepted at several colleges including george law, harvard, brown, john hopkins and boston university.nd it will be deciding soon were to start in the fall. throughout this evening at this important event. as when the most prestigious awards we are sad to not be able to gather in celebration
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with you in person, we are honored to take this program online and to be joined by more than a thousand teachers,ey students and history lovers across the country. tonight we celebrate not one, but two distinguish lincoln pprizewinners winner of the 2020 prize for her book army of deliverance and professor at royal owner of the 2021 price for his book a bit. abraham lincolnln in his time. we'll be hearing remarks on both prizewinners tonight and there will be a live q&a with both authors at the end of her hour-long program. additionally, will he remarksgr by lewis, of the guilder institute, bob president of gettysburg college and a host of other distinguished guests. please note we are going to keep the chat close to minimize any distraction during the program but we encourage audience members to submit a question using the q&a feature at the bottom of thee screen.
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begin as it traditionally does by scott b higgins. graduate h former trustee of gettysburg college. the founder of veterans advantage. the nation's leading advocate. scott we turn to you. >> good evening i'm scott higgins head of the trustees of the lincoln prize but want t to welcome you to our virtual celebration of the prize. behind me as a statue of mr. lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation which i am t proud to say lynn, i cut our children the higginset family donated to gettysburg college. the statue sits in front of fstephen's hall name for thaddeus stevens the congressman and abolitionist. who is a long time trustee of the college to provide an 1832 upon which the college was built. let us take a few minutes in prayer. lord god would meet this seem to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary work of two
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historians elizabeth for her armies of deliverance of the new history of ther, civil war, a sweeping narrative of the civil war unfold with noo interpretation of the union and the confederacy. and david reynolds, a, nelle can book that abraham lincoln to life within the culture of a turbulent age. on this occasion we also take an important moment to recognize dick guilder who passed away this year for his monumental contribution to american history. we pray for his partner and our partner for continued progress back to good health. more than a century and a half after the lincoln era and the civil war, we pray lord god for continued teachings in scholarship and research of the lincoln era. we. that the legacy of the men and women who lived in suffered the horrors of war in the name of justice and oppression will
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be a shining light to future generations of a americans. and we fervently pray the ideals and the goals which inspired abraham lincoln, union and unity, freedom and dignity for all will inspire today's leaders of the people of this great country. soro that from the scorches of war and rebellion and the pandemic civil strife and terrorism we brought together in peace and liberty and with hope. and we ask your blessing upon those who have joined us tonight. amen. >> thank you scott for the elegant invocation. let me add my welcome. i'm president of the incision american history. on behalf of the board of the lincoln prize let me welcome you to the 30th and 31st lincoln prize award ceremony. in a year of zoom exhaustion and webinar weariness, thank
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you all for taking the time to join us. covid caused us to postpone our ceremony in 2020. but tonight we combine it with the 2021 award and a special double presentation. we are able to do this thanks to the efforts of dianead brennan, the price administrator at gettysburg college and cassidy hooker, events and management that gilbert in situ. thanks also to the stamina and good nature of the lincoln prize journey who agreed to serve two years running of the steven mintz at the university of texas, and the chair, professor and former president at the university of richmond and a trustee of the institute at heirs. thank you all for making the ceremony possible. normally it will be hold this event at the union league club and eric said he only about 250 people are able to attend. so the silver lining to l being virtual is that tonight ween
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have more than 1000 people in our audience. any of them teachers and students to meaning and from every state in the union, and a few from abroad. tonight our viewers will be able to hear to great historians receive $50000 prizes and talk about their award-winning books read me over the lincoln prize to dick guilder and that ought. gettysburg college has the vision to create a $50000 book prize at a time of the pulitzer prize was only 5000. the boldness of their vision has shaped the field of history and more broadly the whole landscape of the prizes ever since. we lost dick in may of last year when he died three weeks short of his 88th birthday. we will hear a message tonight from blue, delivered by his son thomas. as many in the audience know, he is not only a successful businessman, philanthropist and >> leader he is himselfst
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and his story and published author whose many books include 2008 and lincoln and churchill statesmen at war together is the cofounder of the institute and the shaping force behind the collection, which today lies at the heart of the programs and resources at the institute provides 28 network of 29000 schools ins. more than 7,000,008 -- 12 students. with a sense of profound gratitude that all has been made possibly turn out to his son thomas the trustee of the institute for a brief messagech after which we will see a short video about the history of the lincoln prize. >> good evening my name is thomas i am happy to share these words of my father with you. on the occasion of the lincoln prize. you all know how much our work together in this common cause leads to him.
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we're thankful for your continued support. imagine now my father's unmistakable presence and voice before you. distinguished friends of the guilder lehrman institute, we at the institute find ourselves grateful to you for so many things. your investment, your encouragement, your belief in our educational purposes. we gathered tonight to celebrate american history. one of the greatest stories ever told me gather especially to honor my cofounder of theo- institute richard guilder. we know well how dedicated we are to the study and teaching of american history. we truly aspire to the goal that every american citizen, of whatever age will knowil and embrace the priceless patrimony weha have inherited from generations past.
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but it also be said that we are committed to this mission, unselfconsciously because we believe the study and teaching of american history is one indispensable a confidence responsible citizens. dick guilder and i both history makers it university years ago deeply believe the teaching and studying of american history must be the destiny that opens a garden path of every immigrant and citizen so that each can become an american in full and thus founding of the institute of american history. thank you very much. ♪ ♪ >> in time of unprecedented
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strife and conflict present abraham lincoln took the reins of national leadership and re- united a fractured america. named in honor of the 16th president, the guilder lehrman lincoln prize founded in 1990 and has been awarded annually for their work in english on abraham lincoln. the american civil war soldier of the american civil war era. the inspired leadership theco lincoln prize committee has considered more than 3200 works and awarded more than $1.5 million in prizes over the last threees decades. the award have honored scholars such as eric, barbara, doris, jim, and film makers steven spielberg and kim burns honored with the inaugural prize for his documentary masterpiece the civil war. as well as many others.
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they guilder lehrman lincoln prize has set a standard for scholarly awards and shines a bright light on the legacy of lincoln and his accomplishments as well as an era of the civil war. although america may change and grow, both the memory and the words of abraham lincoln remain fresh. with the malice towards none, with charity for all lettuce drive on to finish the work we are in. to do all which may achieve in chair's a josh and lasting peace and with our nation. the guilder lehrman lincoln prize is sponsored only by the guilder lehrman institute of american history and gettysburg college. ♪
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♪ >> is my prayer list not interest the president of gettysburg college, a distinguished lawyer, editor of the law review while the student in the uva law school, a former appeals clerk kurt and federal prosecutor, bob was for several years senior vice president and general counsel at harvard university where he led many university wide initiatives and was president trusted advisor. bob became the 15th president of gettysburg college in july, 2019 in the midst of his first year as president, covid struck. and bob has been heroic and very successful in his efforts to lead the college through this challenging time. bob is also a member of the lincoln prize port and i can say from personal observation he is an ardent and eloquent participant in the board's deliberation.
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to hear words about the price on the college here is president bob. >> good evening everyone i'm president gettysburg college it's truly in honor to join c you tonight our colleges had along a strong relationship with the guilder lehrman institute of american history for good many years it's been a joy to be intimate involved with the selection of the one arena such as barron and david reynolds. as exceptional scholarship but it also has a way of shining a light on our shared past and offering new understanding of how we navigate the challenges presented by our world today. it is a sentiment that speaks powerfully to the education we seek to provide tour students at gettysburg, college. at the college we provide our students with what we call consequential education. one grounded in the belief that knowledge of the path in
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any discipline or endeavor is critical to the formation of a well reasoned and created response. because of our past that found our community at the defining moment in american history. special obligation to forge our society and democracy. especially these most consequential times. it's deeply entwined with 1863. events that tests our most fundamental values and indelibly shape the course of our nation. our collagen is pennsylvania college stood in the midst of union confederate forces. swept to the heart of our campus or primary building at the time. which served as an academic
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and residential space for students was conceived by confederates and used as a field hospital to treat the wounded soldiers of both armies. pennsylvania halderman's of the heart of our campus today. it is where my office is v located and serves as a vivid reminder to me every day of how much this institutions history informed our values ands aspirations for our future. following the battle the college turns to a man called david a graduate of the class of 1851. wills personally invited presidentli lincoln to stay and give a few appropriate remarks at the dedication of the national cemetery. he his wife hosted lincoln in their home the evening prayer. the next morning, on november 19, 1863, college students and faculty walked to the town square and followed president lincoln to the national cemetery.
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to hear his iconic address firsthand. today our students retrace the steps, each file to a tradition what we call the first or walk. when they arrived at the cemetery, our students in the earliest days of gettysburg students here lincoln's words. we reflect on what those words will mean for them. and indeed they can live with the promise of those words throughout their lives. it's clear consequential or college is indeed situated where the most consequential places in our country. atthat matters. leaders like lincoln, and eisenhower, and so many others who throughout our history have had a profound impact on who we are today and change we believe is possible. it is eight legacy enforced by faculty like jim downs the guilder lehrman chair for civil war studies and history.
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strengthens events of the annual lecture and civil war institute conference which art lincoln prize winner speak at each summer. in short, students come here to our college, to this place surrounded by history opportunity to build in themselves in each of the responsibility and resulted take the great and unfinished work of making a better world. indeed, consequentially educated people create for themselves consequential lives and we are honored the guilder lehrman institute and lincoln prize continues to play an important efforts. again i want to congratulate elizabethan david for their superb publications but i want to especially acknowledge her gratitude in debt to dick guilder, for all he did during his distinguished life including to his support of
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the lincoln prize. and i wish also to thank luis lehrman for his vision, leadership and commitment to improving our understanding of the world with the study of our past. lastly, big thanks to all of you, so much for joining us for the special events. i look forward to connecting with you think gettysburg college in the years ahead. take care now. >> thank you bob. i am a senior high school in new york city and a member of the student advisory council and the guilder lehrman institute of american history. i am pleased to announce a been accepted into three colleges including syracuse university, mahaffey college and iona college. we finding soon were to start in the fall but i am honored to introduce to you our next guest, lincoln prize laureate martha, professors history new york university and a winner of the 2016 guilder lehrman lincoln prize for her book
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morning lincoln professor will be presenting the finalist for the 2020 lincoln prize, take it away. >> thank you sebastian and good evening. is my honor tonight to introduce the finalist for the 2020 lincoln prize. these finals were chosen by agu jury of distinctive scholars in a pool of more than 100 nominated for theoo prize. being namedpr a finalist for this prestigious award, these historians join an elite groupun that includes the very best history writing over the past 30 years. our first finance the 2020 lincoln prize was eric for his book the second founding, how the civil war and reconstruction remade the constitution, which trayce three foundational reconstructive amendments 13th 14th 15th amendment. the second finalist was matthew fox and modify his book exposing slavery human
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bondage and visual politics in america. which explores the role of photography in shaping the public's understanding of slavery in the 19th century. the thirde finalist was stephanie e jones rogers for her book, they were her property. white women and slaveowners and the american south. which examines white women's participation in the slave market and how they used it for economic and socialva advantage. the fourth finalist was w caleb mcdaniel for his book the case of liberty a true story of slavery and restitution in america which tells the extraordinary story of henrietta woods and enslaved woman who fought for justice and reparation. the fifth finalist was jesse morgan owens for her book, girls in black and white sprayed the story of mary mildred williams and the abolition movement which looks at how photographs of enslaveden
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a seven year old child is passed as whites, galvanized white sympathy for the abolitionist cause. the six finals was joseph ap reedy for his book the illusions of emancipation the pursuit of freedom and equality in the twilight of slavery. it examines the emancipation and the aftermath of the perspective and experiences of african-americans. the seventh finalist for the 2020 lincoln prize was david for his book raising the white flag, how surrender defined the americanxe civil war. which unpacks the social, political and social meetings of surrender during the civil war. congratulations to all of the 2020 finalist and i am now going to turn things back over too jim, president of the gilder lehrman institute. >> present the 2020 lincoln prize it is now my pleasure to introduce my fellow gilder lehrman trustee, john is a
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tremendously successful businessmen, >> leader and philanthropist who had set more boards and good causest than you can imagine. among them at various times the national park foundation, the american battlefield trust, the university of virginia board of visitors, and for 15 years the texas historical commission. he only gave that b up to accept a presidential appointment as the chair of the national advisory council on historic preservation where he served for nine years. john is a longtime trustee and generous supporter of the guilder lehrman, where in partnership first lady laura bush he created the national street teacher of the year program operating in all 50 states. now it is in its 17th year. he is also the founder of theen john now center for civil war history at uva with his illustrious faculty and programs. with a jury selected a historian for uva as the winner of the 2020 lincoln prize, we immediately asked john if you'd represent us in
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presenting the prize to her. here, to do that right now is our good friend john. >> good evening everyone. thank you, jim, for that very kind introduction. tonight, it is my honor to join you to present the 2020 lincoln prize on behalf of of dick guilder and lou lehrman. established in 1990 the gilder lehrman lincoln prize is awarded annually for the finest scholarly work in english on abraham lincoln, the american civil war soldier for the american civil war hero. tonight the 2020 lincoln prize is awarded to elizabeth, for her exceptional book armies of deliverance, a new history of the civil war. liz is one of the leading historians of the civil war lera and we are very fortunatea to have her leadership and intellect at the now center
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for civil war history, located at the university of virginia. i have an interest in the study of the civil war since i was a young boy. it all started with civil war on family trips. as a young undergraduate starting at uva in the fall of 1964, i was surprised when registering for classes, that there were no history classes on mid- 19th century america. over the years i made up my mind that if i ever had the capacity, i would work to establish mid- 19th century history classes at uva. i am very proud of the work of the now center at uva and the role that it plays in the study of the american civil war. this has played a significant role in helping to shape programming at the now center. she is a very talented and
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dedicated teacher at both the undergraduate and graduatedu levels. she has trained a number of excellent students at uva and many have sought admission to the uva program. she's published five books about the american civil war that underscore her impressive range of interest she has accolades for her books, her writing and teaching played a critical role in sustaining of civil war era history. tonight, we recognize and celebrate her outstanding scholarship of the civil war hero. has a thorough insightful very readable history of the war itself congratulations to our 20 lincoln prizewinner, doctor
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elizabeth for armies of deliverance a new history of the civil war. congratulations, liz and thank you everyone. >> thank you so much john. i aml profoundly grateful for this award and the opportunity to address you all tonight. and i extend my congratulations to my fellow honoree david reynolds and allmo of the others. if there was ever a moment to celibate the public mindedness of the gilder lehrman institute and its support for countries history educators that moment is now. have been reminded again and again on the recent past we need to make our collective scholarship and teaching accessible to the generaler public. the unresolved issues at the heart of the american civil war and the legacies of slavery and the fulfillment of freedom are it is of our time. america never needed so much educated k-12 teachers and libraries, and archivists, museums, national parks,
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colleges and universities this rising generation of student teachers more. i set out to write armies of deliverance with public outreach in mind. the book is an interpretive meant to convey the analytical insights in the modern sensibilities of civil war. scholarship on theiv 21st century. the title of the book captures its arguments that the theme of deliverance is a key to understanding the war there was to savewa the people from confederate destitute. deliverance i argued proved to be an adaptable, political scene that drew followers like a magnet to the union cause and enabled abraham lincoln to forge a broad coalition for winning the civil war.
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the emotional appeal rhetoric particular impact on soldier motivation. i tried to explain how it was they could believe in saving the self or even in the facee of massive evidence the confederates did not want to be saved. help the union when the war with the defeated confederate for peace or black on the unions terms. as a research and roeschie armies of deliverance three insights of modern scholarship were settlednt into my thinking for the first is that the union and confederacy were complex political constructs. in turn a late divided by faultlines of race, class, gender, ethnicity, religion and so on. ouron generalization must. account for that complexity to give a striking example, we attended a common shorthand to
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equate the south confederacy rate we should not do so, doing so is profoundly distorted, black southern giddiness were crucial to union victory. indeed a major aim of my book was to highlight the role of black southerners and coalitions in the ways they liberated were in factiv liberate tours. now this aim was given a power impetus by events in my hometown of charlottesville, virginia. even before the shocking violence of august 2017, researchers and educators in charlottesville have been hard at work recovering a history of black unionism in the ffregion. those efforts have made a difference and a recognition the fact that over half of the population was enslaved on the eeo of the civil war for the
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fact that many black men fought and union regiments. our city now celebrates march 3 as liberation and freedom day to mark the moment in 1865 would union forces took possession of charlottesville and brought liberation to the region. the message here of course is public history conductive lead by a wide range of students and educators and researchers have afforded us the new lens for life. a second way they haven't for my book the convictions are grand narratives are more compelling when they include a wide range of voices and experiences and lengthy range of historical m methodology, cultural and so on. more than ever before civil war strength integrate the battlefront and these various methods for setting p the past. i was determined and armies of
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deliverance to leave the experiences and voices of women throughout the narrative, not only to the various roles they played as nurses, reformers, spies, teachers and so on, for the salience of their commentary on political mass. as also determined to interweave the public pronouncements of opinion makers of politicians with the private reflection of civilians and soldiers in their personal letters and correspondence and so on so i could reveal the ideologies are internalized in the compartment of people's identities. perhaps the most illuminating the theme of deliverance wasas ubiquitous they wrote home to their families from countless and battlefields, even as these soldiers were surrounded by evidence of the wars brutality and its toll.
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they had and others deeply internalize the idea they could change southern hearts and minds for the third and final illustration of the ways in which my book reflect modern scholarship at its insight sensibilities is its rejection of the confederacy. frederick douglass famously in 1878 theres is a right side in a wrong side in the war what show sentiment ought to cause us to forget. armies of deliverance is meant to help us appreciate the meaning ofed douglass' famous words and their continued relevance. douglas delivered this plea to there's a right side in a wrong site as reconstruction was running aground on the shores of racism. and since assisting the right side won the war douglas was not claiming the union causes blameless indeed tackles had spent his life fighting a war
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against southern slavery and racial discrimination in the north. what he meant was he civil war was fundamentally a war of ideas between the old and the new, slavery and new barbarism and civilization. the conflict was so bitter because the ideas that t droveos it were so sharply opposed. now one would like to imagine the 21st century americans could readily agree the right side won the war. but we have seen sobering reminders in the recent past fault equivalency the idea of the union and confederacy are equally deserving the honor has made a comeback in american culture. so i would like to close by asking, as history educators and informed citizens to guard against, to reject and refute
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such a fault equivalency. my book emphasizes the fundamental idealism of the union war. i am not claiming any more than douglas did that all northerners were saints and all southerners were demons. but even after we have accounted for the wars excesses, for its cost, for the human suffering and fallibility and cruelty on both sides, it remains irrefutable on the issue of slavery union and confederate ideology were starkly opposed. o union ideology with this emphasis on free labor and on majority rule and insistence slaveholders should no longer rule the country was a framework and which change and progress were possible, not inevitable, not easy, but possible. figure six frederick douglass and harriet tubman on the face of admittance diversity of cracked open the door to change. confederate ideology by
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contrast, was a acdefense of slavery in the political supremacy of slaveholders, flatly rejected the possibility of progress they were about enemies of change and sought to close that door to freedom and chain shots. the union causes frederick douglass himself invoking the war of ideas, was based upon the broadest and grandest declaration of human rights the world ever heard or read. the confederacy was on shocking denial. the right side won the war and falls to us to fulfill the promise of that victory, thank you. : : : high school and a member f the student advisory council of the institute of american history. i'm honored honored to inintrodr next guest, larry walker, acknowledge thing finalis of the 2021 lincoln prize. larry is a a businessman and civic leader
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just getting for college and from prize word altering the government this award. mary, please tell us about the 2021 finalists. >> thank you and good evening. it is a privilege to be here with you tonight, first ever on this event. in a year marked by national prices, scholarship lincolns legacy reminds us unity as possible great leadership and it's my honor to acknowledge 2021 prize whose work contributes to preserving and advancing that legacy. the first of the 2021 can price for her book talcum runaway slaves to mexico and the road to the civil war examining mexico's abolition of slavery in 1837 is increasingly radical in the
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policy. a second finalist for the 2021 lincoln prize was adrian confederate the post- civil war word which looks at confederate thinkersed, it's relationships with the united states and its role in this. the third finalist was the women's fight the civil war's battles for freedom and nation providing a n comprehensive district of women's lives and contributions during the civil war and women for a centrally fully engaged throughout the fourth finalist for the 2021 prize was kenneth w no, but acclimate and the american civil war which investigates the ways through which climate scrapes the outcomes of these civil war
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battleshe, congrats to all 2021 pilotless. i'm going to turn it back over to you who will introduce our next guest. >> our next guest is valerie will present the award for the 2021 lincoln prize center. valerie is the trustee of the institute for five years and one of its a most active generous supporters, a former teacher who serves in the florida teachers college at columbiana university, a civic leader who chairs the board of the rockefeller brothers fund. a private foundation advancing social change contributing to sustainable world. she will introduce the winner of the 2021 prize. >> i'm honored to introduce the winner ofhe the 2021 macon priz, david is a rhode island native everywh deceived you see berkel. he taught american literature
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and at northwestern university bernard college, new york university, rutgers university. since 2006, a professor at the university of new york where he teaches english and american civics, author or editor 16 books and they have one there question cost award, the outstanding book store. a finalist for the national book critics awards. abraham macon and his time, a beautifully written life of making said cultural context of his time new york times book review describes it as a lucidly rendered expedition of the character and thoughts of the 16th president and prism of the cultural social forces through america during his lifetime. "wall street journal" deemed a marvelous cultural biography capturing lincoln and historical moments. through innovative research, the settings playing a key role in
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lincoln's life and knowledge of americans vision, literature, humor and politics allows him tp populate lincolns nation and its unprecedented detail for it is a pleasure that i present the 2021 lincoln prize to david reynolds. congratulations. now i turn it over to tell us about his book's. >> thank you so much valerie for those kind remarks and thank you to the institute for his wonderful recognition. i truly appreciate any last year's winner earlier about the institute and high schools, congratulations to her and
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explanation for the book. i want to mention lynn, it circulated a book proposal and one paragraph in, discussing this, i realized i had a foot inside of me kind of growing for years and years scott kind of pulled out of me thank you to lynn and scott and also where i at the university of new york stimulating the environment from the student cohort to faculty members to the administration, thank you so much for tuning in and particularly to professors, colleagues in the history program, the biggest winner of
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the lincoln prize david will strike her who were kind enough read my manuscript to on the screen, couldn't believe it indicates wonderful insights and out side of this, i want to thank douglas wilson, wonderful americanness with wonderful manuscript forget my family who have stuck by me through thick and thin, it was a great challenge but also great fun to write this book. my wife was working on her book on creativity and neuroscience and when my manuscript finished, suzanne carefully wrote chapter by chapter and was a wonderful commentator so thank you som
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much. walt whitman's poem has this eulogy written out in the go describesm, he lincoln is the great western star with the landscape and in a sense, that's what lincoln always was to me, this beautiful wonderful star but also a little removed someone inaccessible, i didn't see him very well attached to his contemporary culture, i spent years thinking about culture, the greatest literary. in american literary history. emerson hawthorne, emily dickinson, walt whitman and wonderful figures of frederick douglass, of course there was
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don brown, william garretson, so much going on in a wonderful period. walt whitman in 1856 emphasized about a president from across from the west by the time illinois was considered and he didn't know about lincoln at all once a working person, honest and he said i wished he stepped across the aisle went into the white house. inferior president and low and behold four years later, here comes abe and be illinois on a
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stable, old dave and he didn't think he liked that name nor did he like mr. president or mr. lincoln or anything like that, he preferred lincoln but he did say i know i was not going to get elected without the image and that's why i call my book abe. it's about intersection between him and basically what got him elected which was knowledge of contemporary america. about lincoln he said you know, there is no hero in history who in companies culture, all ranges of culture from the highest to the lowest in the high side lincoln can recite shakespeare by the page not to break just because these lines meant something to him and he liked frontier humor and everything in between. sappy parler songs and so forth.
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there is a range of culture and he believed that people are shaped by conditions indelibly shaped but at the same time he stated he believed in individual's capacity shape and feedback into culture of the individual to shape it so my book is about the interchange between him and his surrounding culture and how it guided him into the presidency and through the civil war and it was a nation divided over slavery and in that division, he was compared to the famous type rope walker who went back and forth across the niagara falls known as backward, forward in pushing a wheelbarrow over many cartoons
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portrayed lincoln a few times he prepared himself and people would say can't you go faster on slavery? he said we are going across the niagara, tilt this way or that way or to the left or the right, i have to stay centered here if i don't, people will go to so that others will assent to past, if i don't, something would happen. if we lose kentucky, we lose everything so i have tuesday hundred and he was confronted with a culture that was turbulent, rowdy, and fragmented. he once called america autocracy the premises attacking african-americans and immigrants and abolitionists and called for strict respect of positive law
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and it was a fragment of what we call isms such as spiritualism, no nothing is him and utopian socialism and free love and on and on and he was very much aware of all of these but he said in his words, concentrate on one is him, he concentrated on douglas is him, but spread, spread to the west opened up by stephen douglas when he called for popular sovereignty in the western territories. that's what we concentrate on and he didke it so marvelously throughout civil war and finally what was initially largely and work to preserve the union and as liz was saying, it was a war
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specifically for slavery which fortunately lincoln lived to see with the 13th amendment. they passed congress just a few months before he was assassinateded so then he became president to pop right endorse the boats for african-americans and one thing that helped him was poetry, he loved poetry and april 9, 1865 on about from virginia to washington and that we surrendered to grant and everyone was saying mission accomplished, we one, he preferred to read poetry a few hours, poetry spoke to him and he was thinking about 750,000 or 800,000 people died in the civil war. it wasn't so much how great i am
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for the north is, it was really an outreach and poetry is the most channeled concentrate language that focuses meaning so wonderfully and his greatest speeches, they are short, a little over 200. they are poetic and what lives with us today for his example is language. our nature and malice toward none, of the people, by the people, for the people. this language still survives and in his honor since he loved poetry so much, recite the poem of the great harlem renaissance : who in 1926 shortly, four years after the lincoln
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memorial, this wonderful marble statute opened and langston wrote this poem about the washington monument. let's go see sitting in the marble in the moonlight. sitting in the marble and the moonlight. client for a million million years. quiet and yet a voice against the timeless walls. thank you. >> thank you so much.yn
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the q and a portion of the program, i'd like to remind audience members if you have a question, you can enter it in the queue and i find on the bottom like a screen. the first question is for you, provided you become a historian cox. >> that's a wonderful question and i was inspired by my parents, i parents both immigrants to the country from turkey and germany and they felt they wanted to get to know the place where they found themselves which happened to be northern virginia so they took this smithsonian institute to various historical sites in the region, i remember museum of american history was civil war and exhibits captured my age beingn at a young exposed to the artifacts historic sites that really caught my attention and their own love for history and their
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own sense that u.s. history was important as fascinating as their own backgrounds work. to be immersed in this story, there is just no substitute for getting to see and hold artifacts, imagine yourself in a place and so on, all historians are so grateful to those who make this visible tangible experience for us. >> thank you. next question from eva. what surprised you about your research?
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>> thank you for that question. what surprised me was too many of our opinions lincoln are formed from today's perspective, we have toe go to his own time. one quick cherry pick here and there particularly in early speeches in illinois, a racist environment against stephen douglass and euclid cherry pickd certain things but it's quite backwards and so forth but i was surprised by sincere closeness to african-americans stretching into the neighborhood where there were several he was close to through his residency douglas in the white house, african-american feminist and
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martin delaney was beyond black lives matter, he was radical and they found him the least prejudice present they had met and they were quite honest about that so it kind of helps for me to understand why he does become the first president to publicly endorse the vote. >> thank you so much for that answer. next question is from martha. the question is, what did researching and writing your book eliminate for you about changing the hearts and minds especially in a renewed moment of polarization? >> a sense, i think this brings us back to lincoln, we can put forward over the course of the war, a vision of american
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reunion from one that i think brent would eventually take up after the disastrous presidency of andrew johnson in which he attempted to blend the desire for unity with their commitment to principle so we see lincoln midway through a war propagate a problem of amnesty to confederates who seem ready to change their hearts and minds, it's a policy less well known in the emancipation of very important and essentially it asks e confederates to pledge future loyalty to the union and lincoln hopes too re-create the oil parts of the union occupied state of future loyalty so that was an olive branch but at the same time, lincoln stood by
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principle so there were voices in the north, the opposition of the democrat educating for negotiating peace which the union would give up emancipation, make concessions to the confederacy, perhaps even confer independence, copperhead democrats willing to go that far, we can wasn't willing to accept on his enemies term. i wrote a book about the surrender in which i made the case that making rounds the same page, that page was to say yes, we can be magnanimous occupy the moral high ground, intended to dissect your repentance and essentially the message of lincoln and grant to the confederacy was we don't want to punish you, we want you to change and unfortunately the message back was that
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confederates considered the demand for change as a form of punishmentnt. >> thank you for that thoughtful answer. our next question is from don, how much more of the work history is yet to be discovered. >> i am a great believer in what herman said, all subjects are infinite and the more we learn about a subject, the more infinite it becomes. i think there's a lot more civil war history to be discovered, i think book after book after book reveals more and more dimensions and let me tell everyone that now more than ever is a lot to discover, why? many, many newspapers, books, speeches used to be very hard to get, he would have to travel a lot, they are online you could
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word search through databases, archives, early english books and on and on so i think we could be up at dawn of a new era of civil war scholarship just scholarship in general. i teach mining the archives and a lot of the archives online or wonderful so there's a lot promise out there, there really is. >> we have time for oneur more question and we would like to hear from both ofr you on this. professor, let's start with your. other instance where you change your mind during the course of your research and writing this book? >> i would say b yes, i was looking at union motivation primarily historian, the learning curve for me in regards
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to union, i read a lot of public deliverance discourse, i was attempted initially to dismiss this propaganda, the kind of thingsgs politicians say to buid aa certain taste and promote their power and success, it was one ier read walter's letters ad diaries are going in the moment, private sources of elements rhetoric that i realized i had obriefly accounted for the emotional appeal of this discourse because it sunk in in the northern population and as david said, we have this wonderful access to both public resources but also to digitize letters and diaries that we can
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compare as we always do cross-referencing at the heart of our work comparing and contrasting the public pronouncements with the private once retroactive pronounced in the moment. >> thank you. did you change your mind about one aspect or subject during the course of your research? >> that's a great question, i think i changed my mind at theve beginning, let me explain briefly. originally, i was thinking about a book interest of the subject up religions but i edited a book on lincoln's selected writings, so much intersection with this contemporary culture and how it explains a lot of his activities and t thoughts and i broadened t and it became a biography that
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tries to encompass so much of the culture he knew and i think we are profoundly influenced by our culture, local school culture, church, whatever and how that intersects in they larger culture and i found this did apply to lincoln. this hole brought me from the early focus to full-scale biography was major change. >> thank you so much. everyone in the audience, we appreciate your questions and i'm sorry we didn't get to answer more. i want to turn over to helena will be closing on our program. >> what a great q&a. thank you for taking questions from the audience. most of our prizewinners happen petered on every online program offering to discuss their books
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in depth. if you enjoyed today's program and want to learnrn more, you recordings of sessions, links to view those will be tapped into check.n you can purchase deliverance and abraham lincoln in his time as well as copies of all, the institute has a range of public programs and resources for teachers, students and his recovers. we hope you will check out our website for more information on the current program and in particular, i'd like to invite everyone here to bring us one month from today for our annual gala on my for the first time ever. you can learn more in chat. last we like to think our donors support for this program for free. this ensures civil war scholarship situated in the mainstream of american history
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education, were deeply grateful for your support. if you enjoyed tonight's program and want to support them, you can do that we can chat. thank you for joining us this evening and congrats again professor david reynolds. i hope everyone has a nice evening and we hope to see you at another event soon. ♪♪ >> weekends on c-span2, intellectual view every saturday, american history tv documents america story sundays, book tv brings the latest nonfiction books and authors funding for c-span2 from these television companies and more including media,. >> the world changed in an instant, media comports credit, internet tracking from assault and we never slowed down. schools and businesses my virtual and we powered a new reality is we are built to keep
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