Abraham Lincoln in the Post-heroic Era
History and Memory in Late Twentieth-Century America
By (author) Barry Schwartz
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Abraham Lincoln in the Post-heroic Era by Barry Schwartz
Book DescriptionBy the 1920s, Abraham Lincoln had transcended the lingering controversies of the Civil War to become a secular saint, honored in the North and South alike. Throughout the Great Depression and World War II, Lincoln was invoked as a reminder of America's strength and wisdom, a commanding ideal against which weary citizens could see their own hardships in perspective.But as Barry Schwartz reveals in "Abraham Lincoln in the Post-Heroic Era", those years represent the apogee of Lincoln's prestige. The decades following World War II brought radical changes to American culture, changes that led to the diminishing of all heroes - Lincoln not least among them. As Schwartz explains, growing sympathy for the plight of racial minorities, disenchantment with the American state, and an intensifying celebration of diversity all contributed to a culture in which neither Lincoln nor any single person could be a heroic symbol for all Americans. Paradoxically, however, the very culture that made Lincoln an object of indifference, questioning, criticism, and even ridicule was a culture of unprecedented beneficence and inclusion, where racial, ethnic, and religious groups treated one another more fairly and justly than ever before. Thus, as the prestige of the Great Emancipator shrank, his legacy of equality continued to flourish.Schwartz documents the decline of Lincoln's public standing, asking throughout whether there is any path back from this post-heroic era. Can a new generation of Americans embrace again their epic past, including great leaders whom they know to be flawed? As the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial approaches, readers will discover here a stirring reminder that Lincoln, as a man, still has much to say to us - about our past, our present, and our possible futures.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780226741888
(229mm x 152mm x 33mm)
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 20-Jan-2009
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Barry Schwartz
Why We Work, Hardback (September 2015)
Acclaimed writer and thinker Barry Schwartz dispels a deeply ingrained myth: The reason we work is primarily to get a paycheck
Northeast Asia's Difficult Past, Hardback (June 2010)
The problem of memory in China, Japan and Korea involves a surfeit rather than a deficit of memory, and the consequence of this excess is negative: unforgettable traumas prevent nations from coming to terms with the problems of the present. These compelling essays enrich Western scholarship by applying to it insights derived from Asian settings.
Abraham Lincoln and the Forge of National Memory, Paperback (September 2003)» View all books by Barry Schwartz
From his memorial in Washington and immortalization on Mount Rushmore, one might assume Abraham Lincoln was a national hero rather than a controversial president. Drawing on an array of material, this is a study of the role Lincoln's reputation and memory has played in American life.
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Author Biography - Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Georgia and the author of five books, including Abraham Lincoln and the Forge of National Memory, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
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