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Sobre l'autor

Gerald J. Prokopowicz is Lincoln Scholar and Director of Public Programs at the Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Inclou el nom: Gerald L. Prokopowicz

Obres de Gerald J. Prokopowicz


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Llocs de residència
Greenville, North Carolina, USA



pg. 90 "You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves." Ronald Reagan 1992 erroneously attributed to Lincoln.
pg. 172 Lincoln didn't believe the Constitution gave the federal gov. the authority to interfere with "domestic" arrangements within the states, including slavery."... "were it already existed." pg. 173
students are taught the Civil War was all about abolishing slavery, this book explains it wasn't, but the author also contradicts himself two pages later. pg. 175...:it put the Union on the side of freedom, and gave the war a new moral dimension. (emancipation procl.)
pg. 177 Q: "why didn't Lincoln pay slave holders for their slaves? That would've been easier than fighting a war."
A: Lincoln understood enough about Sothern concepts of honor and race to know how an offer like that would go over.
The truth is the war didn't begin over slavery and Lincoln had intentions of starting a black colony, but the men he discussed this with didn't have any interest. pgs. 178-179
pg. 180 Lincoln's valet was dark skinned and the light-skinned WH servants objected to his darkness. (there isn't information in this book as to the wage given to his valet). There is a female slave the Lincoln's borrowed, but again, no mention as to who received payment, the slave or the owners.
pg. 184 Restoration of white supremacy wasn't just in the South, the North had restricted neighborhoods.
pg. 226 In the era of reconciliation, the white majority in the North and South were ready to put the war and its causes (especially slavery) behind them: An unspoken agreement arose: The South would forget that it had seceded to preserve slavery, and the North would forget about enforcing the 14th & 15th amendments., which were supposed to guarantee civil rights and the vote to the former slaves.
pg. 238 there's a great joke about a current president and what Lincoln would recommend.
After each chapter are further reading suggestions for each topic; his early years, politician, emancipator, etc.
the author even suggests books he doesn't necessarily agree with, but feels they are good for comparison.
It's definitely worth the read if for nothing else the list of suggested reading.
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VhartPowers | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | Dec 27, 2018 |
Nothing new in this book that hasn't been covered elsewhere. The author used his sources from regimental histories and letters of the times. The book covers a general overview and doesn't address some of the more interesting details such as Don Carlos Buell's court of inquiry after being releaved of duty, that revealed his shortcomings as given by his lieutentants.
dhughes | Dec 23, 2012 |
Today many websites have an FAQ section, where "frequently asked questions" are answered. Applying this concept to the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln, historian Gerald J. Prokopowicz asks and answers countless questions about the sixteenth president, including the gem mentioned in the title. Prokopowicz, chair of the history department at East Carolina University, is well-suited to the task, having served for nine years at the (now closed) Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he likely heard most of these questions too many times to count.

In roughly chronological order, Prokopowicz proposes and answers questions touching key aspects of Lincoln's life, including his childhood, his adult life in Springfield, his presidency, the Gettysburg Address, and his assassination. The inquiries offer a wide perspective, responding as often to questions that might be asked by a curious child as to those from adults who have a more in-depth knowledge of history.

Prokopowicz is a pleasant authority, answering questions in a lively and engaging manner, frequently sharing a refreshing sense of humor. This writing style, along with an intelligent ordering of many questions, creates a surprising "page-turning" quality to the book, in spite of its basic Q & A approach. I expect that many will find the book to be an excellent read.

The years of study behind Prokopowicz's answers is evident as he shares knowledgeable, and often thorough, replies to the inquiries. Other Lincoln experts may argue that he comes down on the wrong side of some of the current debates in Lincoln scholarship -- I certainly disagreed with his assessments a time or two -- but cannot deny that he does a credible job explaining the contours of such controversies.

One such example is the book's title question -- did Lincoln own slaves? Rather than simply offering the basic answer, which is no, Prokopowicz uses it as a way to frame his consideration of modern doubts about portraying Lincoln as "The Great Emancipator, which is certainly one of the key current debates in the Lincoln world.

Long-time students of Lincoln are unlikely to learn much new in this book, though it does provide a handy reference to many of the common questions. Instead, this is a work intended to provide a helpful resource to the more casual student of Lincoln, who doesn't want to thumb through a biography -- and doesn't entirely trust an Internet search -- to answer basic questions about the sixteenth president.

This review is also published at
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ALincolnNut | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | Apr 4, 2012 |
Short and snappy biography of Lincoln in a Q&A format -- initially looks like pop history, but it is actually well researched, well written, and very interesting.
annbury | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | Apr 11, 2011 |

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