Biographies Of Presidents Heads Of State

Download e-book for kindle: Abraham Lincoln and White America by Brian R. Dirck

By Brian R. Dirck

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 used to be the "white man's president" has been utilized by a few detractors as facts of his essentially racist personality. seen objectively, Lincoln was once a white man's president via advantage of his personal whiteness and that of the tradition that produced him. before, notwithstanding, historians have infrequently explored simply what this implies for our figuring out 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 keen or capable of go beyond these obstacles than his extra heroic personality may possibly recommend but in addition contends that Lincoln's knowing and method of racial bigotry used to be extra enlightened than these of so much of his white contemporaries.

Blazing a brand new path in Lincoln reviews, Dirck unearths that Lincoln was once good conscious of and sympathetic to white fears, in particular that of descending into "white trash," a concept that gnawed at a guy desirous to distance himself from his personal coarse origins. yet he additionally exhibits that when 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 attitude he proposes a brand new figuring out of ways Lincoln considered whiteness as a unique racial classification that encouraged his guidelines. 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 seriously educated admiration of Lincoln that enables us to rejoice his significant accomplishments whereas at the same time spotting his barriers.

When Douglass saw that Lincoln used to be the white man's president, he would possibly not have meant it as a major analytical classification. yet, as Dirck exhibits, maybe we must 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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