February 25, 2015

 February 25, 2015 - Meeting

Lincoln and the Power of the Press:

The War for Public Opinion” by Harold Holzer.

Author, Lecturer, and Lincoln Scholar.

HAROLD HOLZER is one of the country's leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era. A prolific writer and lecturer, and frequent guest on television, Holzer serves as chairman of The Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, successor organization to the U. S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC), to which he was appointed by President Clinton in 2000, and co-chaired from 2001–2010. President Bush, in turn, awarded Holzer the National Humanities Medal in 2008. And in 2013, he wrote an essay on Lincoln for the official program at the re-inauguration of President Barack Obama. He is serving currently as the first Roger Hertog Fellow at The New York Historical Society.
Harold Holzer's book --

Lincoln and the Power of the Press:
The War for Public Opinion”

Won the 2015 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize.  It is a prize for the finest scholarly work in English on Abraham Lincoln or the American Civil War Era.

Here is a link to the New York Times article (click here)

“Lincoln believed that ‘with public sentiment nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.’ Harold Holzer makes a significant contribution to our understanding of Lincoln’s leadership by showing us how deftly he managed his relations with the press of his day to move public opinion forward to preserve the Union and abolish slavery.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin

From his earliest days, Lincoln devoured newspapers. As he started out in politics he wrote editorials and letters to argue his case. He spoke to the public directly through the press. He even bought a German-language newspaper to appeal to that growing electorate in his state. Lincoln alternately pampered, battled, and manipulated the three most powerful publishers of the day: Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune, James Gordon Bennett of the New York Herald, and Henry Raymond of the New York Times.

When war broke out and the nation was tearing itself apart, Lincoln authorized the most widespread censorship in the nation’s history, closing down papers that were “disloyal” and even jailing or exiling editors who opposed enlistment or sympathized with secession. The telegraph, the new invention that made instant reporting possible, was moved to the office of Secretary of War Stanton to deny it to unfriendly newsmen.

Holzer shows us an activist Lincoln through journalists who covered him from his start through to the night of his assassination—when one reporter ran to the box where Lincoln was shot and emerged to write the story covered with blood. In a wholly original way, Holzer shows us politicized newspaper editors battling for power, and a masterly president using the press to speak directly to the people and shape the nation.
This is a link to Left Bank Books of St. Louis (a locally owned and operated store) where you can currently purchase this book as an eBook, hard cover, or paperback   (click here)

399 North Euclid
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