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Director's Lecture

David Bromwich, “Lincoln as Realist and Revolutionist”


Event Summary

David Bromwich, a professor of English at Yale University, considered the evolution of President Lincoln's political thought and action in the years leading up to the Civil War. In the 1850s he adopted the stance of constitutional moderate, rejecting abolitionism and adhering to the Republican platform that accepted slavery in the states where it already existed. But the "House Divided" speech of 1858 and the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 indicated Lincoln's increasing readiness to take the nation to war on the issue of slavery.

Related Media

Lincoln as Realist and Revolutionist” (Published version of Bromwich’s Director’s Lecture, Raritan: A Quarterly Review, Spring 2017)

‘Lincoln as Realist and Revolutionist’: Five things to know about the 16th president” (UChicago News, February 2, 2016)