Lincoln and Darwin had vastly different childhoods. We know that Lincoln was born dirt-poor and was largely self-educated, whereas Darwin was born to wealth and privilege, privy to the best education money could buy. Still, even 200 years later, both have left their mark upon our world. Unfortunately for both, that mark, or legacy, has become somewhat limited over time.
In the words of Adam Gopnik in his “Twin Peaks” article for the February, 2009 issue of the Smithsonian, ” With the usual compression of popular history, their reputations have been reduced to single words . . . “Evolution!” for one and “Emancipation!” for the other.” How true this is. Both were complex individuals who contributed in many other ways to our relative societies.
One of Lincoln’s legacies, of sorts, is the vast amount of literature that has been written about him. At least in the Western world, it is estimated that there have been more books written about Lincoln than any other individual (save possibly Jesus and Napoleon). And still, writers and researchers are uncovering new information and reformatting the old into numerous intriguing titles about Lincoln. Check out some of these new tomes about our legendary 16th President:
1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History by Charles Flood
Giants: the Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln by John Stauffer
Looking for Lincoln: the Making of an American Icon by Philip Kunhardt
Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief by James McPherson