Meeting of February 23, 2010

Gerald S. Henig on “Lincoln at 200 – In Fact Rather than Fiction”

As we commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, our 16th president remains an enigmatic figure shrouded in myth and legend. Many questions still surround this well-loved but perplexing man. For example, Lincoln had less than a year of formal education: How did he achieve such literary grandeur? Lincoln was a commander in chief with no military training or experience: How did he prove so effective? He opposed the abolitionist movement: How did he become the great emancipator? By focusing on Lincoln as orator, advocate of freedom commander of Union forces, and wartime political leader, Professor Gerald Henig helped us separate fact from fiction in order to understand better this uncommon common man.

Gerald S. Henig is emeritus professor of history at California State University, East Bay, where he received the Outstanding Professor Award and was a four-time winner of the Pi Kappa Delta Best Lecturer Award. After graduating from Brooklyn College, Jerry earned his M.A. from the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D. in American history from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His most recent book, Civil War Firsts: The Legacy of America’s Bloodiest Conflict, was a selection of the History Book Club and the Military Book Club. In April 2007, the book was published in a paperback edition, with a new format, a generous number of photos and illustrations, and a new title: A Nation Transformed: How the Civil War Changed America Forever.

Newsletter February 2010