The Mind of Abraham Lincoln

Louis Masur
Louis Masur
Rutgers University

Louis Masur is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University. A cultural historian who has written on a variety of topics, his most recent work is The Sum of Our Dreams: A Concise History of America (2020). A specialist on Lincoln and the Civil War, he is the author of Lincoln’s Last Speech: Wartime Reconstruction & The Crisis of Reunion (2015), Lincoln’s Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union (2012), and The Civil War: A Concise History (2011). Masur’s essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, the Washington PostSlate, and on CNN. He has been elected to membership of the American Antiquarian Society, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and the Society of American Historians and has received teaching awards from Harvard University, the City College of New York, Trinity College and Rutgers University. His website is www.louismasur.com.

 

Overview

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 analysis.

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