Saturday, January 25, 2020 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Louis Masur / Rutgers University
Any thinking American is drawn to Abraham Lincoln. His story invites us to marvel at how this poor, self-educated, frontier lawyer transformed himself into a political leader who defended democracy, preserved the nation, and abolished slavery. As late as 1859, when asked to provide an autobiographical sketch, he mused there was not much to say because “there is not much of me.” If not much then, there would be plenty ahead.
To understand Lincoln, we must read him. This class provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in Lincoln’s writings and to explore his ideas in seminar fashion, as we might in an advanced undergraduate course. Professor Lou Masur will provide biographical information and context. A few minutes of this this class will be devoted to discussion and analysis. Members of the seminar will receive a packet of writings which you may read if you like (optional) . These readings include some of Lincoln’s most important speeches and writings—debates with Stephen Douglas, the First and Second Inaugural, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address —as well as some less known but important works.
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.