Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Year Of Lincoln At Kiko's House

The lure of invoking Abraham Lincoln as an historic antecedent to contemporary events is seductive but rather silly.

The Culture War cannot be compared to the Civil War,
Falujah is not Fort Sumter, the circumstances under which the 16th president led were unique in American history, and the fact that President-elect Obama is another skinny guy from Illinois is hardly reason enough to endlessly invoke Honest Abe's name over the next four (or eight) years, although that is sure to happen.

Lincoln was the greatest president because no other faced such enormous challenges, no other grew more in office and no other reinvented the United States to the extent that he did.

All of that and the fact that 2009 is the bicentenary of his birth is reason enough to present a series of posts and related goodies on the great man over the next 12 months.

We're setting the stage with an inaugural post below that debunks the larger Lincoln myths, and many posts will be offbeat. No surprise there if you're a regular reader here.

Some damned fine bloggers also will be weighing in, we'll run excerpts each Sunday from David
Herbert Donald's Lincoln, the best mainstream biography on the great man and lots of photographs. These include the seldom reproduced portrait at the top taken by Alexander Hesler in Chicago in February 1857. It was a favorite of Lincoln, who was astutely aware of the power of the new medium and had intentionally tousled his hair. (The others here are an uncredited 1863 photo of Lincoln posing with troops and Julius Ulke's photo of Lincoln's deathbed taken shortly after he died.)

Your input in this endeavor is welcome. Drop me an email if you have an idea for a post or would like the guest blog yourself.

-- Love and Peace, SHAUN

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