HomeEventsBestselling Author to Speak on Lincoln’s ‘Wisdom’

Bestselling Author to Speak on Lincoln’s ‘Wisdom’

The San Marino Community Church will host bestselling author Ronald White speaking on his latest book, “Abraham Lincoln: Wisdom for Today” on Feb. 19 in the church’s Fellowship Hall from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
White, scholar in residence at the congregation, is the author of two New York Times bestselling presidential biographies: “A. Lincoln: A Biography” and “American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant.”
On Sunday, he will speak about his newest book, “Lincoln in Private: What His Most Personal Reflections Tell Us About Our Greatest President.” The book was the recipient of the 2021 Barondess/Lincoln Award presented by the Civil War Round Table of New York for “the greater appreciation of the life and work of Abraham Lincoln.”
It is little known that over the course of his life Lincoln wrote hundreds of private notes to himself. Never expecting anyone to read them, he left them undated, untitled and unsigned, in his easily identifiable penmanship.
White invites audiences to look over Lincoln’s shoulder as he thinks deeply about his dual vocations of lawyer and politician, such as his notes for a lecture to lawyers — a lecture he never delivered; his views on the promise and problems related to the birth of the Republican party; and notes for a speech he longed to give in his native Kentucky.
In note after note, Lincoln wrestles with the vexing issue of slavery. In several fragments we see him responding to books he is reading authored by Southerners advocating pro-slavery political and theological thought and hear his typically measured prose give way to furious rejoinders.
In one fragment, in the privacy of his inner spirit, Lincoln writes of a deep, anguished feeling that he never shared in public: “My life is nothing but a failure — a flat failure.” Finally, we meet Lincoln in a theological reflection probing the question of the agency of God in the Civil War. This meditation sheds light on the riddle of Lincoln’s religious faith.
For the first time, all 111 of Lincoln’s surviving private notes are published in “Lincoln in Private.” White will focus on six notes, each displaying a private side of Lincoln not fully seen in the public Lincoln.


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