Publication Date



In April 1876, Frederick Douglass delivered a celebrated oration at the unveiling of the Freedmen’s Monument in Washington, D.C., a statue that depicted Abraham Lincoln conferring freedom on a kneeling slave. “No man,” the great black abolitionist remarked, “can say anything that is new of Abraham Lincoln." This has not in the ensuing 130 years deterred innumerable historians, biographers, journalists, lawyers, literary critics and psychologists from trying to say something new about Lincoln. Lincoln has always provided a lens through which Americans examine themselves.