This installment of “Conversations at the Newberry” commemorates the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Distinguished Lincoln scholars Douglas L. Wilson and Michael Burlingame, both recipients of the Lincoln Prize for published books, will discuss the language and rhetoric of President Lincoln. The evening also will include a reading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address by Peter Garino of the Shakespeare Project of Chicago.
Listen to the audio of this “Conversation.”
Douglas L. Wilson is the George A. Lawrence Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and Co-director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College. He specializes in American literature and, in addition to research and writing on Abraham Lincoln, has published extensively on the thought and writings of Thomas Jefferson. Wilson has twice won the Lincoln Prize, for Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words (2007) and Honor’s Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln (1999). With Lincoln Center co-director Rodney O. Davis, Wilson in 1998 published Herndon’s Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements about Abraham Lincoln, which was hailed in the New York Review of Books as “a monumental achievement of scholarship.” In 2006, Wilson and Davis initiated the Knox College Lincoln Studies Center Publication Series with Herndon’s Lincoln, a new edition of William H. Herndon’s classic biography of his law partner. That volume was followed in 2008 by The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The Lincoln Studies Center Edition, Wilson and Davis’ entirely new treatment of the memorable confrontation between Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. With Davis, Wilson is currently working on an edition of William H. Herndon’s own writings about Abraham Lincoln, which will stand as a companion to Herndon’s Informants as a source of information on the pre-presidential Lincoln. Wilson also serves on the board of advisors to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, as well as the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and many other Lincoln-related public history projects.
Michael Burlingame holds the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield, whose faculty he joined in 2009. He retired from Connecticut College in 2001 as the May Buckley Sadowski Professor of History Emeritus. Burlingame is the author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life (2 vols, 2008), which won the 2010 Lincoln Prize, and The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln (1994). In addition, he has edited several volumes of Lincoln primary source materials including An Oral History of Abraham Lincoln: John G. Nicolay’s Interviews and Essays (1996); Inside Lincoln’s White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay (1997), co-edited with John R. Turner Ettlinger; Lincoln Observed: Civil War Dispatches of Noah Brooks (1998), With Lincoln in the White House: Letters, Memoranda, and Other Writings of John G. Nicolay, 1860-1865 (2000); “Lincoln’s Humor” and Other Essays by Benjamin P. Thomas (2002); and Abraham Lincoln: The Observations of John G. Nicolay and John Hay (2007), among others. In addition to the Lincoln Prize, Burlingame has received the Abraham Lincoln Association Book Prize (1996), the Lincoln Diploma of Honor from Lincoln Memorial University (1998), Honorable Mention for the Lincoln Prize (2001), and was inducted into the Lincoln Academy of Illinois in 2009. He lives in Springfield, Illinois, where he is working on several Lincoln-related projects.
Peter Garino is Artistic Director and founding member of the Shakespeare Project of Chicago, a non-profit dedicated to offering theatrical readings of Shakespeare and other great dramatists’ works to the community without charge. The Shakespeare Project fosters the talents of members of the Actors’ Equity Association. The Newberry has hosted these performances since 2003.
“Conversations at the Newberry” is generously sponsored by Sue and Melvin Gray.
Free and open to the public; no registration required.