LIVE STREAM: The Civil War and Abraham Lincoln: What’s Fact and What’s Fiction?

Saturday, October 27, 2018 10:50 am - 11:55 am

On October 27, we'll be presenting a "live streamed" event from Atlanta.
 
Students anywhere in the world can "tune in" to the Live Event on their computer, iPad or even their phone and watch the event as it happens. All students who register will also get access to an archived version so they can rewatch it or watch for the first time if they were unable to watch during the live broadcast. 
 
*You'll receive an email with a link to the viewing screen. In addition, two days before the live streamed event, we will send you this link once again via email. This link will show a black screen until the class begins.

schedule

10:50 am - 11:55 am
The Civil War and Abraham Lincoln: What's Fact and What's Fiction?

Louis Masur / Rutgers University

Abraham Lincoln is considered our greatest President and one of the most controversial. People have debated various aspects of his personality and politics. Was he depressed? Why did he tell so many stories? Was he truly opposed to slavery? Did he free the slaves? Did the Union prevail because of his leadership or despite him? This class aims to uncover the man and not the myth. In 1922, the historian W.E.B. DuBois proclaimed that Lincoln was “big enough to be inconsistent.” To be sure, there were tensions in Lincoln’s character and ideology: he could be happy and melancholy, could promote democracy and suspend civil liberties, could oppose slavery yet have doubts about the place of blacks in American society.

Some of what DuBois saw as inconsistency had more to do with political reality, especially in regard to the issue of the abolition of slavery. Lincoln had to contend with various pressures knowing that any misstep could very well lead to the destruction of the Union. Here is where his temperament becomes so important. As we shall see, Lincoln’s storytelling had a purpose, as did his gradual approach to decision making. But once he made up his mind, he seldom looked back. In the end, it is not that he was inconsistent, but that he was thoughtful and deliberate and was not afraid to change his mind and grow in the process.

Louis Masur / Rutgers University

Louis Masur is a Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University. He received outstanding teaching awards from Rutgers, Trinity College, and the City College of New York, and won the Clive Prize for Excellence in Teaching from Harvard University. He is the author of many books including “Lincoln’s Last Speech,” which was inspired by a talk he presented at One Day University. His essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and Slate. He is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society and serves on the Historians’ Council of the Gettysburg Foundation.