Category Archives: History

Lincoln: Divided We Stand

I’m pleased to take part as a featured expert in LINCOLN: DIVIDED WE STAND, a six-part CNN original series about Abraham Lincoln. Through a mix of expert interviews, cinematic recreations, rare artifacts, and never before broadcast photos and letters, LINCOLN: DIVIDED WE STAND will take viewers on a transcendent journey into the life and times…

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Lincoln Log Podcast Launched

The Abraham Lincoln Association launched a new podcast titled Lincoln Log featuring conversations with leading historians and other officials about their stories, research, and wisdom. I will frequently serve as host, including as host of three initial episodes with David Blight, Michael Burlingame, and Allen Guelzo. Here’s a trailer for the new podcast.

ALA Lincoln Birthday Events

The Abraham Lincoln Association's annual event celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s birthday has come to a close. The Benjamin P. Thomas Symposium featured Carl Guarneri, Manisha Sinha, and Jason Emerson. I was honored to join my colleague Bill Bartelt for the Dr. Thomas F. Schwartz Luncheon and Lecture where we presented on our book, Abe's Youth: Shaping...

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The Decay of Collective Memory

As a historian and Beatle fanatic this headline immediately caught my attention: “How We’ll Forget John Lennon.” In the story by Kevin Berger, he reports on fascinating paper by Cesar Hidalgo titled “The universal decay of collective memory and attention.” Hidalgo attempts to measure the way our cultural memory—for instance, the way a hit song…

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Constitution Making in Indiana

In 1851 Indiana held a constitutional convention and the delegates wrote a totally new constitution to replace the one adopted in 1816 when Indiana became a state. This drastic step was made necessary because the earlier document prohibited piecemeal revision. The new document, ratified by voters in 1852, did allow for future amendment. However, only…

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Frontier Thesis

Frederick Jackson Turner’s “Frontier Thesis” which burst onto the scene with a famous essay in 1893 titled “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” continues to impact the American view of history in fundamental ways. In it Turner argues the frontier shaped American democracy, independence, ingenuity, and optimism. In the process, the frontier also…

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