Brian R. Dirck's Abraham Lincoln and White America PDF

By Brian R. Dirck

ISBN-10: 0700618279

ISBN-13: 9780700618279

ISBN-10: 0700621113

ISBN-13: 9780700621118

As "Savior of the Union" and the "Great Emancipator," Abraham Lincoln has been lauded for his braveness, knowledge, and ethical fiber. but Frederick Douglass's statement that Lincoln was once the "white man's president" has been utilized by a few detractors as evidence of his essentially racist personality. seen objectively, Lincoln used to be a white man's president by way of advantage of his personal whiteness and that of the tradition that produced him. earlier, even if, historians have hardly explored simply what this suggests for our realizing of the guy and his activities.

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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Abraham Lincoln and White America by Brian R. Dirck


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