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. considered objectively, Lincoln used to be a white man's president through advantage of his personal whiteness and that of the tradition that produced him. in the past, besides the fact that, historians have hardly ever explored simply what this implies for our knowing of the guy and his activities.

Writing on the forefront of "whiteness studies," Brian Dirck considers Lincoln as a customary American white guy of his time who bore the a number of assumptions, prejudices, and barriers of his personal racial id. He indicates us a Lincoln much less keen or in a position to go beyond these boundaries than his extra heroic character may possibly recommend but in addition contends that Lincoln's knowing and method of racial bigotry was once extra enlightened than these of such a lot of his white contemporaries.

Blazing a brand new path in Lincoln experiences, Dirck unearths that Lincoln used to be good conscious of and sympathetic to white fears, in particular that of descending into "white trash," a idea that gnawed at a guy desirous to distance himself from his personal coarse origins. yet he additionally exhibits that once Lincoln crossed the Rubicon of black emancipation, he persevered to develop past such cultural constraints, as noticeable 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 the way Lincoln considered whiteness as a unique racial classification that motivated his guidelines. As Dirck ably demonstrates, Lincoln rose a long way sufficient above the confines of his tradition to complete deeds nonetheless helpful of our admiration, and he demands a extra significantly expert admiration of Lincoln that permits us to have a good time his massive accomplishments whereas at the same time spotting his obstacles.

When Douglass saw that Lincoln used to be the white man's president, he would possibly not have meant it as a significant analytical class. yet, as Dirck indicates, might be we must always do so—the higher to appreciate not only the Lincoln presidency, however the guy himself.

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