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February 6, 2007

The Power of Lincoln's Words To De Discussed on Feb. 21

Considered a simpleton by Civil War–era literati, Abraham Lincoln shocked the intellectual establishment with his considerable prowess with a pen. From the Gettysburg Address to the Emancipation Proclamation, the president used his words to hold the nation together and exert his political power.

Leading Lincoln scholar Douglas L. Wilson will discuss and sign his new book, "Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words," at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 21 in Dining Room A, sixth floor, James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C.

Part of the Center for the Book’s "Books & Beyond" author series, the program is cosponsored by the Library’s Manuscript Division, the repository of Abraham Lincoln’s personal and presidential papers. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.

According to Wilson, seeing Lincoln "as an experienced writer in the presidential chair offers a window on his presidency, as well as a key to his accomplishments." Lincoln’s rise in the public’s estimation from unpromising prairie politician to great national hero is a well-known chapter in American history. "Lincoln’s Sword" tries to show how his unrecognized talent for writing contributed to this celebrated transformation.

Wilson is co-director, with Rodney Davis, of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., which was retained by the Library of Congress to transcribe and annotate Lincoln’s personal papers for posting on its Web site. Wilson’s previous book, "Honor’s Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln," was awarded the Lincoln Prize in 1999. His work on the esteemed president has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly and Time, as well as other magazines and scholarly journals, and has resulted in three books in addition to "Lincoln’s Sword" and "Honor’s Choice." From 1994 to 1998, he was the founding director of the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, a study center established by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, Va.

Established in 1977, the Center for the Book uses the resources of the Library of Congress to promote books, reading, literacy and libraries. For information about its events, projects, publications and national reading promotion partners, visit www.loc.gov/cfbook.

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PR 07-011
02/06/07
ISSN 0731-3527

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