By Brian R. Dirck
Writing on the forefront of "whiteness studies," Brian Dirck considers Lincoln as a regular American white guy of his time who bore the a number of assumptions, prejudices, and obstacles of his personal racial id. He exhibits us a Lincoln much less prepared or in a position to go beyond these boundaries than his extra heroic character may recommend but additionally contends that Lincoln's knowing and method of racial bigotry used to be extra enlightened than these of such a lot of his white contemporaries.
Blazing a brand new path in Lincoln stories, Dirck finds that Lincoln was once good conscious of and sympathetic to white fears, specially that of descending into "white trash," a thought that gnawed at a guy wanting to distance himself from his personal coarse origins. yet he additionally exhibits that once Lincoln crossed the Rubicon of black emancipation, he persisted to develop past such cultural constraints, as visible in his seven recorded encounters with nonwhites.
Dirck probes extra deeply into what "white" intended in Lincoln's time and what it intended to Lincoln himself, and from this angle he proposes a brand new figuring out of ways Lincoln seen whiteness as a unique racial classification that inspired his regulations. As Dirck ably demonstrates, Lincoln rose a ways adequate above the confines of his tradition to complete deeds nonetheless priceless of our admiration, and he demands a extra severely trained admiration of Lincoln that permits us to rejoice his significant accomplishments whereas concurrently spotting his barriers.
When Douglass saw that Lincoln used to be the white man's president, he won't have meant it as a significant analytical classification. yet, as Dirck exhibits, probably we should always do so—the greater to appreciate not only the Lincoln presidency, however the guy himself.
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Extra info for Abraham Lincoln and White America
Abraham Lincoln and White America by Brian R. Dirck