Certainly one of the greatest of all American lives, Abraham Lincoln has been the subject of more historical inquiry than any figure in the nation’s history. Almost 150 years after his death, Americans are still drawn to him, as evidenced by the popularity of the recent Steven Spielberg film, Lincoln. Michael Burlingame is among the most renowned Lincoln scholars in the world today, having written in 2008 what Publisher’s Weekly called the book that “supersedes all other Lincoln biographies.” In his lecture Professor Burlingame will connect Lincoln’s inner life with his outer life, addressing such questions as: What were the origins of Lincoln’s hatred of slavery? What were the qualities that made him a successful wartime President? What caused his intense ambition? How did his troubled marriage affect his career? How did the low-road politician of his twenties and thirties become the high-road statesman of his forties and fifties?
Perhaps the pre-eminent Lincoln scholar today, Michael Burlingame was born in Washington, D.C. He received his B.A. from Princeton and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins, where he studied under and became the protégé of the legendary Civil War scholar David Herbert Donald. He taught at Connecticut College from 1968 until retiring in 2001, after which in 2009 he joined the faculty of the University of Illinois, where he currently holds the Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies. He has written numerous books and articles on Lincoln and the Civil War era, the most recent being Abraham Lincoln: A Life, which has garnered several prestigious awards, including the 2010 Lincoln Prize for the finest scholarly work in English on Abraham Lincoln.