Lincoln’s Shrewd Sermon

Courtesy of Library of Congress.

Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s second inauguration as President of the United States. On that date, Lincoln delivered an address that, while never quite rivaling the Gettysburg Address in terms of fame, has nevertheless earned the lasting admiration of many Americans. Carl Sandberg termed it ”the great American poem”; Frederick Douglass praised [Read More...]

“A New Birth of Freedom”: The Gettysburg Address

November 19, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, his most famous speech and one of the most famous in American history. He delivered the speech at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, four months after the conclusion of the Civil War’s decisive battle. The renowned orator Edward Everett was the main [Read More...]

Five Compelling Religious Biographies

People love biographies, and I am regularly asked to recommend good ones during the lead-up to Christmas. One of the most frustrating things about the bookselling business is that there is no necessary correlation between the prominent placement of books at the bookstore, or the review of them in newspapers and magazines, and the enduring [Read More...]

What Does Democracy Require of Us?

On March 4, 1865, Abraham Lincoln stood before the crowd at the United States capitol building to deliver his second inaugural address.  Lincoln was addressing a nation nearing the conclusion of a long and bloody Civil War that took 600,000 lives.  The speech was far from triumphant.  It was a meditation on one of the [Read More...]

“Thenceforward, and Forever Free”: Remembering Antietam and the Emancipation Proclamation

This week marks the 150th anniversary of two of the most significant events of the Civil War: the Battle of Antietam (Sept. 17) and the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation (Sept. 22). The contrast between these two events remains poignant a century and a half later: the most deadly single day of battle in American history signaled [Read More...]