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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 4, 2011

UI Press will release 'Lincoln in His Own Time' Nov. 8

Lincoln in His Own Time, edited by Harold K. Bush Jr., from the Writers in Their Own Times series, will be available Nov. 8, from the University of Iowa Press.

The book will be available at bookstores or directly from the UI Press, 800-621-2736 or Customers in Europe, the Middle East or Africa may order from Eurospan Group at

Bush, professor of English at Saint Louis University, is the author of Mark Twain and the Spiritual Crisis of His Age and American Declarations: Rebellion and Repentance in American Cultural History.

Through this collection he reveals Lincoln as a man of letters who crafted some of the most memorable lines in our national vocabulary, explores the striking mythologization of the martyred president that began immediately upon his death, and then combines these two themes to illuminate Lincoln's place in public memory as the absolute embodiment of America's mythic civil religion.

Beyond providing the standard fare of reminiscences about the rhetorically brilliant backwoodsman from the "Old Northwest," Lincoln in His Own Time also maps a complex genealogy of the cultural work and iconic status of Lincoln as quintessential scribe and prophet of the American people.

The 42 entries present the best reflections of Lincoln as thinker, reader, writer, and orator by those whose lives intertwined with his or those who had direct contact with eyewitnesses. Bush focuses on Lincoln's literary interests, reading, and work as a writer as well as the evolving debate about his religious views that became central to his memory.

The volume includes selections from works by famous Lincoln contemporaries including Whitman, Hawthorne, Douglass, Stowe, Lowell, Twain, and Lincoln himself, in addition to lesser-known selections that have been nearly lost to history. Each entry is introduced by a headnote that places the selection in historical and cultural context, and explanatory endnotes provide information about people and places.

Allen C. Guelzo, the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College wrote, "Harold Bush's anthology of the writings of Abraham Lincoln and those who knew him creates a portrait of a 'living, breathing conscience,' not just a historical figure. Viewed from so many different perspectives, Lincoln emerges in multiple dimensions, beyond the familiar flatness of a Mathew Brady glass negative. A delightful companion for anyone looking to follow in Lincoln's paths."

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Allison Means, UI Press, Winston Barclay, University News Services,