UNC Press Authors at the Lincoln Presidential Library

While Google may be marking today as the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, many of us here at the UNC Press are thinking of another 200th birthday. Today marks the bicentennial birthday our our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, a reoccurring subject in many of our titles.

Two titles in particular come to mind today. The first is Russell McClintock’s “Lincoln and the Decision for War: The Northern Response to Secession“. McClintock takes a fresh look at the varied responses to the South’s decision to secede from the Union after Lincoln’s election. Lincoln worked to guide popular and political opinion from bitter partisan rancor to consensus, demonstrating an understanding of the antebellum political system as well as overall political acuity in his early presidential career.

The second title is Elizabeth Varon’s “Disunion! The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859″. Varon takes a more populist approach to the pre-war debate, using the voices of fugitive slaves, white Southern dissenters, free black activists, abolitionist women, and other outsiders to the halls of power to tell the story of a country coming apart and what that meant to its citizenry.

Both Russell McClintock and Elizabeth Varon were honored by in invitations to speak today at the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Illinois as part of the official Lincoln Bicentennial Birthday celebrations. They are serving as two-thirds of a panel titled “The Break Up of the Union” at the Presidential Library. (If you didn’t make your plans to be there early enough, the event is being taped by CSPAN-2 BookTV)

We at the Press congratulate them for this recognition of their scholarship and hope they’re able to stick around for the evening’s Symposium Banquet (which will also be covered by C-SPAN Book TV) where some newcomer to the political scene – and a big Lincoln fan – is scheduled to speak.