Abraham Lincoln Book Acquisitions for 2017

Another year and another set of acquisitions for my Abraham Lincoln book collection. This was a decent year for new books – 59 new additions. In contrast, last year I only acquired 43 new books, but 2017 was in line with the 59 and 60 books obtained in 2015 and 2014, respectively. My big year was the 98 books in 2013. So this year was about average, but acquisitions didn’t stop at books. I also purchased four new 7-shelf bookcases to set up a new office library.

Basement library

Nine of the new books were published in 2017. By far the most important one was my own book, Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, which came out in August and has been enjoying good sales in Barnes and Noble stores nationwide.Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America

Other 2017 released books include the second volume of Sidney Blumenthal’s “Political Life of Abraham Lincoln” called Wrestling With His Angel (which I reviewed in the Lincolnian) and on Goodreads. There were also new books by Lincoln scholars Brian Dirck, James Conroy, Guy Fraker, and Jonathan W. White.

Two books looked at the importance of legendary photographers Alexander Gardner and Mathew Brady to our memory of the Civil War. Shooting Lincoln by J.C. Pistor came out this year while Richard Lowry’s The Photographer and the President came out in 2015. Both delve into the rivalry between Gardner and Brady and their relationship with helping make Lincoln great as well as document the destruction of the war.

On the flip-side, the oldest new acquisition was Henry Ketcham’s The Life of Abraham Lincoln, published in 1901. Close behind was Emanuel Hertz’s 1939 book, Lincoln Talks: A Biography in Anecdote.

Other great books include Charles Strozier’s Your Friend Forever: The Enduring Friendship of Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed, and the four-volume set of Legal Documents and Cases coming out of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln Project, edited by Daniel Stowell. I was also fascinated by Robert O’Harrow Jr.’s The Quartermaster about Montgomery C. Meigs.

As Vice President of Programs for the Lincoln Group of DC, I’ve had the privilege of inviting many of these authors to speak to us in person. Between the Lincoln Group, the Lincoln Forum, and other Lincoln organization events I’ve been lucky enough to get many of my acquisitions signed by the authors. Sixteen of my new acquisitions are signed, most directly to me.

I will admit that finding books is getting harder. New books tend to be expensive and older books tend to be either impossible to find or in terrible condition or priced out of my reach. With over 1100 titles in my collection, the number of books available that I already have also puts a cap on new acquisitions.

One last note: I’ve begun something I call the Abraham Lincoln Bibliography Project in which I plan to catalog the known books about Abraham Lincoln. I’ll include only actual books, not other documents and not pamphlets. As the website develops I’ll add a searchable database, book reviews, lists of books by topic (e.g., assassination, general biography, law career), and summary papers for those topics. The idea is to create a useful resource for both Lincoln researchers and the general public. Check out the blog and stay tuned.

See the 2017 list showing author/title/publication date below my signature blurb below.

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, now available. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

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Here is the 2017 list:

Physical Evidences: Investigation & Reconstruction of Physical Events 2017
Acord, David What Would Lincoln Do? 2009
Adams, Carl Nance: Trials of the First Slave Freed by Abraham Lincoln 2016
Bain, David Haward Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad 1999
Bartelt, William E. There I Grew Up: Remembering Abraham Lincoln’s Indiana Youth 2008
Berton, Pierre Niagara: A History of the Falls 1992
Blumenthal, Sidney Wrestling With His Angel: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln 1849-1856 2017
Brame, Charles w/illustrations by Soller, Edgar B. Honestly Abe: A Cartoon Expose of Abraham Lincoln (Revised and Enlarged Edition) 2000
Brogan, D.W. Abraham Lincoln (Great Lives) 1935
Chadwick, Bruce 1858: Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, and the War They Failed to See 2008
Conroy, James B. Lincoln’s White House: The People’s House in Wartime 2017
Cornelius, James M. and Carla Knorowski Under Lincoln’s Hat: 100 Objects That Tell The Story of His Life and Legacy 2016
Cox, Hank H. Lincoln and the Sioux Uprising of 1862 2005
Crofts, Daniel W. Lincoln & the Politics of Slavery: The Other Thirteenth Amendment and the Struggle to Save the Union 2016
Davis, Rodney O., and Wilson, Douglas, L. The Lincoln-Douglas Debates (The Lincoln Studies Center Edition) 2008
Denney, Robert E. Civil War Medicine: Care & Comfort of the Wounded 1994
Dirck, Brian Lincoln in Indiana 2017
Farber, Daniel Lincoln’s Constitution 2003
Foner, Eric Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 1988
Fraker, Guy C. Looking for Lincoln in Illinois: A Guide to Lincoln’s Eighth Judicial Circuit 2017
Furguson, Ernest B. Freedom Rising: Washington in the Civil War 2004
Grieve, Victoria Ford’s Theatre and the Lincoln Assassination 2005
Hacker, Barton C. (Ed.) Astride Two Worlds: Technology and the American Civil War 2016
Hertz, Emanuel Lincoln Talks: A Biography in Anecdote 1939
Hirsch, David and Van Haften, Dan The Ultimate Guide to the Gettysburg Address 2016
Irmscher, Christoph Louise Agassiz: Creator of American Science 2013
Keeler, William Frederick, with Robert W. Daly (Editor) Aboard the USS Monitor: 1862: The Letters of Acting Paymaster William Frederick Keeler, US Navy to His Wife, Anna 1964
Kent, David Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America 2017
Ketcham, Henry The Life of Abraham Lincoln 1901
Kigel, Richard Becoming Abraham Lincoln: The Coming of Age of Our Greatest President 2017
Lee, Richard M. Mr. Lincoln’s City: An Illustrated Guide to the Civil War Sites of Washington 1981
Leidner, Gordon Conversations with Lincoln: Little-Known Stories From Those Who Met America’s 16th President 2016
Lowry, Richard S. The Photographer and the President: Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Gardner, & the Images That Made a Presidency 2015
Martin, Fred J., Jr. Abraham Lincoln’s Path to Reelection in 1864: Our Greatest Victory 2013
McCutcheon, Marc The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the 1800s 1993
Oehlerts, Donald E. (Compiler) Guide to Wisconsin Newspapers, 1833-1957 1958
O’Harrow, Robert Jr. The Quartermaster: Montgomery C. Meigs, Lincoln’s General, Master Builder of the Union Army 2016
Paludan, Phillip Shaw Victims: A True Story of the Civil War 1981
Phillips, Donald T. Lincoln on Leadership for Today 2017
Pinkney, Andrea Davis Dear Mr. President: Abraham Lincoln Letters from a Slave Girl 2001
Pistor, J.C. Shooting Lincoln: Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and the Race to Photograph the Story of the Century 2017
Schwartz, Thomas F. Lincoln: An Illustrated Life and Legacy 2009
Searcher, Victor Lincoln Today: An Introduction to Modern Lincolniania 1969
Silverman, Kenneth Lightning Man: The Accursed Life of Samuel F.B. Morse 2003
Sloan, Eric A Museum of Early American Tools 1973
Snow, Richard Iron Dawn: The Monitor, the Merrimack, and the Civil War Sea Battle That Changed History 2016
Stowell, Daniel (Editor) The Papers of Abraham Lincoln: Legal Documents and Cases (4 vols) 2008
Strozier, Charles B. Your Friend Forever, A. Lincoln: The Enduring Friendship of Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed 2016
Stuckey, Sterling Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory & The Foundations of Black America 1987
Swanson, James L. and Weinberg, Daniel R. Lincoln’s Assassins: Their Trial and Execution 2001
Titone, Nora My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry That Led to the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln 2010
Tooley, Mark The Peace That Almost Was: The Forgotten Story of the 1861 Washington Peace Conference and the Final Attempt to Avert the Civil War 2015
Trindal, Elizabeth Steger Mary Surratt: An American Tragedy 1996
Tyler, David B. The Wilkes Expedition: The First United Sates Exploring Expedition (1838-1842) 1968
Varhola, Michael J. Everyday Life During the Civil War: A Guide for Writers, Students and Historians 1999
Ward, Geoffrey C. Lincoln’s Thought and the Present 1978
White, Jonathan W. Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman 2011
White, Jonathan W. Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams During the Civil War 2017
White, Richard Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America 2011

Last Chance for Free Shipping on Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America

Get it in time for the holidays! And get shipping for FREE!

You can have a signed copy of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America without having to pay a shipping fee.

Check out a Preview and the Table of Contents here.

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Through December 10th shipping fees will be waived. Just pay the price of the book and I’ll ship it anywhere in the continental United States for free.

Go to my “Buy the Books” page to order now!

Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World

 

 

The same terms apply to my Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World book!

[Sorry, Tesla books temporarily out of stock. Check back in January.]

 

 

 

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, now available. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

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Lincoln Forum and the Gettysburg Dedication

Abe and MeNovember 19th is Dedication Day, the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address (admit it, you had to memorize it in middle school too). It’s also the week of the annual Lincoln Forum, held November 16-18. I’ll be at both.

The focus of this year’s Forum is “Lincoln and His Contemporaries: Friends, Enemies, and Successors.” Speakers will include Charles Strozier (talking about Lincoln’s intimate friend, Joshua Speed), Steven Engle (Lincoln and the War Governors), Jonathan W. White (Dreams of War and Peace), Melanie Kirkpatrick (Lincoln and Thanksgiving, which appropriately follows next week), and Annette Gordon-Reed (Andrew Johnson, who is either a friend or enemy and questionable successor, depending on your point of view).

Not to be missed is a break out session in which friends and foes Craig L. Symonds and John F. Marszalek do their best Abbott and Costello routine (or Costello and Costello) facing off with Northern and Southern perspectives of the Civil War.

The Forum is deftly guided by founding and continuing Chair, the Honorable Frank J. Williams and unrivaled Lincoln scholar and Forum Vice-Chair, Harold Holzer. The two, along with a cast of dedicated Board members and staff, have led the Forum for 22 years, and every year seems to get even better. One of the preeminent Lincoln conferences, each year about 300 Lincoln scholars and aficionados, some in period costumes, join together to share great scholarship, good food, and long-lasting relationships. If you haven’t already, check out the Forum website at the link above (and the other Lincoln groups, including my own Lincoln Group of DC, in the links below).

I’ll be there catching up with other Lincoln authors, attending the talks, and increasing my already voluminous Lincoln library. I’ll also have copies of my own Lincoln book. Anyone who wants one can catch me roaming the hallways and I’ll be happy to sign one for you.

As the Forum ends the crowd shifts to the Gettysburg Battlefield where George Buss plays Abraham Lincoln and recites the Gettysburg Address. This year’s keynote speaker is none other than the Forum’s Harold Holzer.

This week is a busy one for us Lincoln scholars and geeks. Last night I attended a welcoming reception at the Lincoln Cottage for members of the Abraham Lincoln Association. ALA hosted us a year ago when over 20 Lincoln Group of DC members toured the Springfield, Illinois area. We were happy to return the favor as ALA engages in its annual “fishing trip” before heading up to the Lincoln Forum.

See you at the Forum!

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, now available. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page. Share with your friends using the buttons below.

Updates on Tesla, Edison, Lincoln

It’s been a busy year for Tesla, Edison, and Lincoln. Based on the Barnes and Noble website, I’m expecting new printings for all three books. Plus, foreign translations!

The 8th printing of my Tesla book should be available any day now given the information I had received from the publisher. The book is sold out in my local store and temporarily unavailable on the B&N site as they get more books in the warehouse. Buyers at the local B&N tell me they still have brisk sales four years after the original publication. The situation is similar for my Edison book released in 2016, with the local store selling out and more books needed in the warehouse. And my newest book, Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, is selling well according the manager of my local store. They’ve just restocked the shelves and a new printing is definitely due.

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In addition, Edison has joined Tesla in a Dutch language edition. The European publisher had previously done Dutch, German, and Spanish editions of Tesla so I expect to see the same for Edison. Tesla also is now in a Czech language edition. Hopefully the publisher will pick up the Lincoln book for translation some time next year.

Meanwhile, my recently released Lincoln book is doing well. I recently presented at the DC Historical Society conference in Washington, DC and I’m shortly heading up to Gettysburg for the annual Lincoln Forum. Then on December 12th I’ll present my book to the Lincoln Group of DC (click here to join us).

If that wasn’t enough, I am working on a new Lincoln book, and will be proposing a second Lincoln book in January. Stay tuned for more.

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, now available. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page. Share with your friends using the buttons below.

 

Abraham Lincoln and the DC Historical Society Conference

I had the pleasure of participating in the DC Historical Society Annual Conference this weekend. The conference focused on the 50th anniversary of the civil unrest of 1968, a pivotal moment in the history of the District. I was there to speak about the man who played a large role in creating the civil rights movement – Abraham Lincoln.

On Friday I spent much of the day manning the Lincoln Group of DC table. Joined by Lincoln Group President John Elliff, Vice President John O’Brien, and fellow authors Elizabeth Smith Brownstein and Carl Adams, we provided information on the group and sold signed copies of our books.

DC Historical Society 11-4-17

Photo (c) Bruce Guthrie

On Saturday I was the sole presenter in the “Author Talks” segment. I had the opportunity to spend close to an hour with the attendees. After giving a presentation on Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, I entertained questions from an engaged group of Lincoln and DC aficionados. I was even asked about my other books on Tesla and Edison. Being able to interact with people who are truly interested in history and your writing is truly a privilege.

DC Historical Society 11-4-17

Photo (c) Bruce Guthrie

More information about the DC Historical Society can be found on their website. Meanwhile, I’m headed up to Gettysburg next week for the annual Lincoln Forum conference and the Battlefield Dedication day where good friend George Buss will present Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Lincoln Forum Vice-Chair Harold Holzer is the keynote speaker for the event.

For those in the DC area, I’ll also be speaking at the Lincoln Group of DC luncheon on December 12th. Check out the website and sign up now for this great event that will also feature Elizabeth Smith Brownstein and Carl Adams.

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, now available. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page. Share with your friends using the buttons below.

[Daily Post]

 

Joseph Henry, the Smithsonian, and Abraham Lincoln

National Academy of Sciences foundersJoseph Henry was not initially impressed with Abraham Lincoln.

Barely a month after Lincoln settled into his new office in “that big white house,” the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution made his introductory visit. Henry’s inherent misgivings about the frontier politician were reinforced as he waited impatiently for an hour while a steady stream of the lowermost job seekers filed in and out of the President’s office. When finally allowed to see him, Henry thought Lincoln appeared careworn. After exchanging routine pleasantries, Henry explained the new president’s official role as prime overseer of the Smithsonian and invited Lincoln to attend the next regents’ meeting. But the president seemed disinterested. Henry’s conversation with the Lincoln, with Secretary of State William Seward present, was uncomfortable and brief. Henry felt disappointed by this country lawyer from the West and walked away feeling the President was “withdrawn and ill at ease.” Was Lincoln the uneducated, uncultured boor rumors made him out to be, one who could never understand the high intellectual ambitions of the Smithsonian Institution? Was the open dislike of Henry’s family for the man who General McClellan would later call an uncouth “gorilla” justified?

Granted, Henry thought, Lincoln was preoccupied with more urgent matters. Fort Sumter had fallen on April 12th and, as longtime friend Captain Montgomery Meigs informed Henry while they both waited for an audience, Lincoln was weighing various options for quickly ending the rebellion of seceded states. Perhaps he should not be so quick to judge, thought Henry, and indeed, over time he would come to appreciate Lincoln’s folksy intellect. Lincoln himself would rapidly come to see the importance of the Smithsonian and science for the war effort…and the future of the Union.

[From a work in progress. For my most recent book on Abraham Lincoln, check out Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America.]

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, now available. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page. Share with your friends using the buttons below.

An Author in Our Midst – The Lincolnian Interview, Part 2

I was recently interviewed by The Lincolnian, a quarterly publication of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia. The interview was published in the Summer 2017 issue and Part 2 is recreated below. Read Part 1 here.

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David J KentLincolnian: Any reaction to the book that you wish to share?

David Kent: The Lincoln book has just been released, but the initial reaction has been similar to that received for my Tesla and Edison books. People love the smooth writing and say the books are both easy to read and provide comprehensive information on the subjects. The reaction from the public has been heartwarming. The Tesla book released in 2013 is on its 7th printing and has been translated into multiple foreign languages. I’m hoping to have the same success with Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America.

Lincoln: The Man Who Saved AmericaLincolnian: At a Lincoln Group meeting, you indicated that you were writing another book on Lincoln’s interest in science? What is the status of that book? Tell us the themes of that book?

David Kent: Yes, I’m currently working on a scholarly book that focuses on Lincoln’s interest in science and technology. I’ve been doing intensive research for years on the subject and am now preparing key chapters. This book will be more in-depth so I’ll be looking for a different publisher than the one putting out my earlier books. I’m hopeful it will see the light of day (and bookstores) by late next year. Stay tuned!

Lincolnian: Tell us a bit about your own background? How/why did you become a writer? You seem to have strong twin interests in science and Lincoln. How did you become interested in these two areas – which developed first? How did your interest in Lincoln develop – and what most interests you about him. I know you travel to visit different Lincoln sites – describe some of your travels – which is the most unusual Lincoln site you have seen – where will your travels take you next -what have you missed that you wish to visit?

David Kent: While I’ve been interested in Lincoln since I was very young, I grew up in a coastal New England town so it was probably inevitable that I enter a career in the environmental sciences. After getting science degrees I worked as a marine biologist until the laboratory I worked in was burned to the ground by an arsonist, then in a series of environmental consulting firms in New Jersey and Washington DC. Over the years I’ve been president of four different scientific organizations. Throughout my science career I was writing, mostly technical reports and peer-reviewed papers, but also was writing for various newsletters. The writing bug really grabbed me only as I was returning from a 3-year secondment in Brussels, and decided to expand on my Lincoln interests. In late 2013 I left the science consulting life behind and decided to focus on my writing full time. I joined the Lincoln Group of DC in January 2012 and have been writing a lot on Lincoln in recent years, including articles in the Lincolnian and elsewhere. I joined many LGDC members on the trip to Lincoln’s Illinois last year and was totally enthralled by sites I hadn’t seen before. Future plans include a road trip beginning in Tennessee and tracing Lincoln’s birthplace in Kentucky through boyhood in Indiana and into Lincoln-related areas in northern Illinois. I’ve traveled to many countries around the world and even non-Lincoln specific locations seem to have a thing for Lincoln. There are statues of him in Edinburgh, Scotland, two other spots in the UK, Vigeland Park in Oslo, and, as yet to be seen, Havana, Cuba, Mexico City and Juarez, Mexico, and in Guatemala.

Lincolnian: Do you have other topics on your radar for the future after you have completed the Lincoln /science book?

David Kent: I have several books in my mental pipeline after the Lincoln/science book, including at least two more on specific aspects of Lincoln’s career. In January I hope to discuss a Lincoln book project in which LGDC members would be participants. More on that soon.

Lincolnian: Anything you wish to add on these subjects for our readers?

David Kent: I have to say that my membership in the Lincoln Group of DC has been an inspiration for me. I thank LGDC members in the acknowledgements of this current book and have benefited tremendously from the interactions I’ve had in our monthly dinners, the monthly book club discussion group, and various tours and symposiums. I’m especially indebted to current LGDC President John Elliff and the rest of the team on the LGDC Board for support and encouragement. I’m looking forward to continued service and participation in LGDC.

For more information on the Lincoln Group of DC, check out this post.

[Part 1 of the Lincolnian interview appeared here last week]

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, now available. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page. Share with your friends using the buttons below.

An Author in Our Midst – The Lincolnian Interview, Part 1

I was recently interviewed by The Lincolnian, a quarterly publication of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia. The interview was published in the Summer 2017 issue and Part 1 is recreated below. Read Part 2 here.

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David J KentMost Lincoln Group members know by now that David Kent, our Vice-President for Programs, is an accomplished author, one who has penned successful books on such figures as Tesla and Edison. His most recent publication spotlights Lincoln himself. David agreed to be interviewed for The Lincolnian regarding his new Lincoln book and his writing career. Here are the contents of that interview.

Lincoln: The Man Who Saved AmericaLincolnian: You have a new publication out – Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America – tell us about this publication – what was the inspiration behind the book, what is/are the major themes, what did you aim to accomplish for the audience, who is the targeted audience?

David Kent: I have been interested in Abraham Lincoln since as far back as I can remember, so when the publisher of my Tesla and Edison books decided to branch out into history, I jumped at the chance. Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America is directed at a general audience and so spans Lincoln’s entire life, from his days growing up on frontier farms to the crisis of the Civil War and the Lincoln legacy. The goal is to reach out to a broad readership in a way that is visually appealing. The strife of this past year in politics shows that there are many in our nation who lack a good understanding of history, including the critical time period in which Lincoln lived. As the subtitle suggests, I bring out how Lincoln’s decisions helped deal with our nation’s greatest challenges, and how he kept the Union together despite all forces trying to tear it apart.

Lincolnian: What research did you undertake in writing the book? In doing so, did you learn anything that surprised you?

David Kent: I feel like I’ve been researching Lincoln my whole life. I read 20-30 Lincoln-related books every year, along with a wide variety of other genres. I also review primary materials – letters, speeches, newspaper articles – to get both a broad and deep understanding of his life and how he thinks. It doesn’t come as a surprise to me because I’ve been researching it for another book, but I’ve always been enthralled with Lincoln’s interest in science and technology.

Lincolnian: In your opinion, what information in the book will surprise the reader?

David Kent: I think general readers will be surprised by how active Lincoln was in politics from his first days in New Salem. He really did become the leader of the Whigs in Illinois, and without him the Republican party of Illinois likely wouldn’t have become as powerful as quickly as it did. For Lincoln scholars I bring out how Lincoln understood that the de facto expansion of slavery enabled by the Compromise of 1850, Kansas-Nebraska Act, and Dred Scott decision triumvirate would lead to war. Lincoln pressed the issue knowing the crisis was unavoidable.

Lincolnian: Your book contains many images – photographs, graphics, etc. Describe a few examples that will be new to the audience or most captivating.

David Kent: The incredible publishing team and designer have pulled together amazing imagery for the book. These images were selected to bring out the stories told in the text and make the book a visual as well as an intellectual experience. Images range from photographs of the time period, paintings of key events, political cartoons presented in key newspapers, letters and documents, and even comic book pages. One image from a comic book, for example, highlights how good Lincoln was with his own children and those in the neighborhood, often getting down on his hands and knees to play with them. The images really bring out the life described in the text.

Lincolnian: What similarities – and differences – does this book have as compared to your previous works on Tesla and Edison? What similarities in character, traits, etc. did you find that Tesla and Edison shared with Lincoln – and what were the major differences you found in your subjects?

David Kent: The style of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America is the same as my previous books on Tesla and Edison. Those two books were very successful for the publisher (and me), so the publisher wanted to branch out into similarly-styled books in history. Because of my lifelong interest, I suggested Lincoln and they agreed. The three books highlight the human side of science and history. While very different in many ways, all three men were innovators. Tesla was a big picture guy, always wanting to change the world with a radical new idea. Edison was a details guy, always tinkering and improving on existing ideas. Lincoln was a little of both. In the courtroom and in politics he could remember and exploit key details while at the same time always keeping his eye on the bigger picture. And like Tesla and Edison, Lincoln too was an inventor, the only president in our history to have obtained a patent.

Lincolnian: Where can we find the book /who is the publisher?

David Kent: The book is in Barnes and Noble stores nationwide (if you don’t see it, ask for it; it’s there). You can also order it online at BarnesandNoble.com. I sell signed, first edition copies through my own website (http://www.davidjkent-writer.com/buy-the-books/). I’ll be the speaker at LGDC’s December 12th luncheon meeting and will have copies to sell there. The book is published by Fall River Press, an imprint of Sterling Publishing in New York.

[Part 2 of the Lincolnian interview will appear next week]

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, now available. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page. Share with your friends using the buttons below.

Fall Events at the Lincoln Group of DC

Lincoln Group of DCThe Lincoln Group of DC is one of the premier Abraham Lincoln associations in the country and I feel privileged to be a part of the executive board. This post highlights some of the upcoming events in the DC area that you don’t want to miss.

October 14: Special event at the African American Civil War Museum, 1925 Vermont Ave, NW. The United States Colored Troops in the Civil War. 1-3 pm. Presenters are historian, teacher and reenactor Michael Schaffner, and fellow presenter high school student Hugh Goffinet, who will describe soldiers’ lives during the Civil War and demonstrate the manual of arms. The program is free and open to the public.

More information: http://www.lincolngroup.org/oct2017.html

October 28: Our monthly Book Discussion Group, Ford’s Theatre, DC. This is the final day of our discussion of “President Lincoln: The Duty of a Statesman” by William Lee Miller. We will be choosing the next book to be discussed, so now is the time to join the group. Free and open to all Lincoln Group members. 10 am – 12 pm.

More information: http://www.lincolngroup.org/book-discussion.html

October 30: Special Event: A Theodore Roosevelt Salute to President Abraham Lincoln, Arlington Hilton Hotel. A stunning performance by Teddy Roosevelt look-alike and presenter, Joe Wiegand, who has performed at the George W. Bush White House and with the Mt. Rushmore Presidents at the National Archives. A must-see!  6-9 pm. Reservations required.

More information: http://www.lincolngroup.org/oct30-2017.html

December 12: Members Book Night. Join three of the Lincoln Group’s premier authors as they discuss their books: David J. Kent (Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America), Elizabeth Smith Brownstein (Lincoln’s Other White House), and Car Adams (Nance). 6-9 pm. Reservations required.

More information: http://www.lincolngroup.org/dec2017.html

There is so much more going on in the Lincoln Group of DC, so check out our web page and join us at one of our events.

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, now available. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

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I Am Not a Know Nothing – Abraham Lincoln Lessons for Today

Lincoln #TakeAKnee

In an 1855 letter to his dear friend Joshua Speed. Lincoln said:

“I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be?…Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy.”

As the Kansas-Nebraska Act was renewing Lincoln’s interest in politics, his Whig Party was coming to an end. The party had weakened and fragmented when Whig leaders such as Henry Clay and Daniel Webster died in 1852. Southern Whigs supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act because it allowed the expansion of slavery, while Northern Whigs strongly opposed it. This North-South split mirrored the divided Democratic Party in 1860, but in 1854 southerners generally shifted to the Democratic Party or joined the new “American Party.” The latter were also known as the Know Nothings because of their secrecy and nativist bigotry against blacks, as well as Irish and Catholic immigrants. Former northern Whigs, including Lincoln, along with anti-slavery Democrats, formed a new Republican party. The Republican Party’s primary focus was to prevent the expansion of slavery into the territories.

In October 1854 Lincoln rose to the forefront of the Republicans with a speech he gave first in Springfield, and then a dozen days later in Peoria. Newspapers published the second presentation, so it came to be known as the Peoria speech. Lincoln spoke out emphatically against slavery and oppression.

Today, Lincoln almost universally ranks at the top of any “best president of all time” poll, with both Democrats and Republicans claiming the mantle of Lincoln. Ironically, the Democratic Party has a clearer case. Republicans in his time were for inclusiveness, personal freedom, and positive government action. Lincoln championed federally funded internal improvements to build infrastructure, at one point arguing, “The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot, so well do, for themselves.” Today the Democratic Party reflects these characteristics more than the Republican Party does, partly because during the 1960s many in the South left the Democratic Party in protest of Democratic support for civil rights. Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” completed the transition, effectively switching the focal points of the two major parties compared to their Civil War–era characteristics.

What would Lincoln say today?

Most likely he would fight for the protection of every American’s civil rights. In January of his last year, Lincoln pressed hard for passage of what would become the 13th amendment to the Constitution. This amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, thus codifying the proclamation’s goal that all slaves “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” This was followed in 1868 by the 14th amendment, which granted U.S. citizenship to former slaves and instructed states to protect all citizens’ rights and privileges and guarantee all persons equal protection under the law. This effectively overturned the Dred Scott decision. The 15th amendment in 1870 prohibited the use of race, color, or previous condition of servitude (aka slavery) in determining which citizens could vote. In a little-known position taken early in his political career, Lincoln had suggested the right to vote might be extended to women. The 19th amendment in 1920 finally accomplished this goal, prohibiting the government from denying women the right to vote on the same terms as men.

Lincoln repeatedly returned to the Declaration of Independence, reiterating the basic self-evident truth that “all men are created equal,” meaning all men and women, with no regard to gender, race, color, religion, orientation, preference, or country of origin. Lincoln would stand up to despotism, speaking out against attempts by political leaders to foment racism, dictate what is “acceptable” or “unacceptable” forms of protest against institutional oppression, or attacks on the constitutional rights of all Americans.

[The above is adapted from my book, Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America.]

[Photo credit: Nathan Greene Studios. Thanks to Bob Willard for finding it. See: http://www.nathangreene.com/product/233/17]

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, now available. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page. Share with your friends using the buttons below.

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