Abraham Lincoln is an icon to most Americans. But were his actions motivated by character or political calculations?
Douglas L. Wilson, two-time winner of the Lincoln Prize in History, will speak on this question at the Cuyahoga Valley Civil War Round Table Banquet on Sept. 11. Doors will open to the event at the Kent State University Student Center at 5:30 p.m. A limited number of seats are still available to the public.
Since the late 1990s, nine books have been published that were written or co-edited by Wilson on Abraham Lincoln, William Herndon (Lincoln's friend, law partner and biographer) and Thomas Jefferson.
In the New York Times Book Review, historian Gabor Boritt once described Wilson as "the leading historian on the young and private Lincoln." In 2010, his book, "Honor's Voice," and Herndon's "Lincoln," which he co-edited with Rodney O. Davis, were among the top five in the Wall Street Journal's "Presidents Day Reading List." "Honor's Voice" won the prestigious Lincoln Prize in 1999 and his book "Lincoln's Sword" won it in 2007.
Wilson currently serves as co-director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. After teaching English and American literature there for 33 years, he spent four years as the Founding Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in Charlottesville, Va. He returned to Knox College where, along with his duties at the Lincoln Studies Center, he was the George A. Lawrence Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus.
Kent State University Press will have a selection of Wilson's work to purchase and have autographed.
The event is being sponsored by the Cuyahoga Valley Civil War Round Table. For more than 50 years the group has brought a wide spectrum of Civil War speakers to the Peninsula Library to address the public. Until now, the banquet was their only closed event. This year non-members are being welcomed, but seating is limited to 75. The cost of the meal is $23.50, which includes parking and gratuity.
Interested parties can get more information by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org for a brochure and registration form. The deadline for both registration and payment is Sept. 4.