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Descripción de editorial
“Brilliant . . . Ferguson’s guided tour of the often amusing, sometimes bizarre ways we remember Lincoln today . . . is heartening and even inspiring.” —Bill Kristol, Time
Abraham Lincoln was our greatest president and perhaps the most influential American who ever lived. But what is his place in our country today? In Land of Lincoln, Andrew Ferguson packs his bags and embarks on a journey to the heart of contemporary Lincoln Nation, where he encounters a world as funny as it is poignant, and a population as devoted as it is colorful.
In small-town Indiana, Ferguson drops in on the national conference of Lincoln presenters, 175 grown men who make their living (sort of) by impersonating their hero. He meets the premier collectors of Lincoln memorabilia, prized items of which include Lincoln’s chamber pot, locks of his hair, and pages from a boyhood schoolbook. He takes his wife and children on a trip across the long-defunct Lincoln Heritage Trail, a driving tour of landmarks from Lincoln’s life. This book is an entertaining, unexpected, and big-hearted celebration of Lincoln’s enduring influence on our country—and the people who help keep his spirit alive.
“A hilarious, offbeat tour of Lincoln shrines, statues, cabins and museums . . . Mr. Ferguson maps it expertly, with an understated Midwestern sense of humor that Lincoln, master of the funny story, would have been the first to appreciate.” —William Grimes, The New York Times
The question that animates this original, insightful, disarmingly funny book is: how do Americans commemorate Lincoln, and what do our memories of him reveal about our visions of the good life? To discover the answer, Ferguson, an editor at the Weekly Standard and a Lincoln buff, made a long field trip, poking into many of the places where Americans have chosen to remember or to forget Honest Abe. He eavesdrops on the Lincoln Reconsidered conference, where a group of "Abephobes" aim to retrieve Lincoln's memory from the distortions of "liberal historians." He considers the "Disney aesthetic" of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill., and attends a convention of Lincoln "presenters" (otherwise known as impersonators). Ferguson is occasionally and unnecessarily snide, and a deeper examination of the changing place of Lincoln in mainstream historical scholarship would have added a great deal to the book. Still, Ferguson's conclusions are stirring. He finds Lincoln's meaning best articulated by Robert Moton, an educator whose parents were slaves. With great simplicity, Moton explained Lincoln's greatness: "...in a time of doubt and distrust... he spoke the word that gave freedom to a race and vindicated the honor of a Nation conceived in liberty...."