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Book Title: Abraham Lincoln and the Forge of National Memory|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 867 KB
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The author of the book: Barry Schwartz
Edition: University Of Chicago Press
Date of issue: August 1st 2003
ISBN 13: 9780226741987
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Reader ratings: 3.7
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Abraham Lincoln has long dominated the pantheon of American presidents. From his lavish memorial in Washington and immortalization on Mount Rushmore, one might assume he was a national hero rather than a controversial president who came close to losing his 1864 bid for reelection. In Abraham Lincoln and the Forge of National Memory, Barry Schwartz aims at these contradictions in his study of Lincoln's reputation, from the president's death through the industrial revolution to his apotheosis during the Progressive Era and First World War.
Schwartz draws on a wide array of materials—painting and sculpture, popular magazines and school textbooks, newspapers and oratory—to examine the role that Lincoln's memory has played in American life. He explains, for example, how dramatic funeral rites elevated Lincoln's reputation even while funeral eulogists questioned his presidential actions, and how his reputation diminished and grew over the next four decades. Schwartz links transformations of Lincoln's image to changes in the society. Commemorating Lincoln helped Americans to think about their country's development from a rural republic to an industrial democracy and to articulate the way economic and political reform, military power, ethnic and race relations, and nationalism enhanced their conception of themselves as one people.
Lincoln's memory assumed a double aspect of "mirror" and "lamp," acting at once as a reflection of the nation's concerns and an illumination of its ideals, and Schwartz offers a fascinating view of these two functions as they were realized in the commemorative symbols of an ever-widening circle of ethnic, religious, political, and regional communities. The first part of a study that will continue through the present, Abraham Lincoln and the Forge of National Memory is the story of how America has shaped its past selectively and imaginatively around images rooted in a real person whose character and achievements helped shape his country's future.
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Barry Schwartz is an American sociologist. He received his B.S., M.A., and Ph.D. from Temple University (1962), University of Maryland (1964), and University of Pennsylvania (1970), respectively. He has taught at the University of Chicago and University of Georgia and been a fellow at the University of Georgia Institute for Behavioral Research (1977–1983), the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral and Social Sciences (1987–1988) in Stanford, CA, the National Humanities Center (1992–1993) in Research Triangle, NC, the Smithsonian Museum of National History in Washington, DC (1993), and the University of Georgia Humanities Center (1994). He has also been a Davis Fellow, Faculty of Social Sciences, Hebrew University (2002) in Jerusalem. In 2000, he received the William A. Owens Award for Outstanding Research and Creativity (University of Georgia); in 2009 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Hebrew University.
Since the early 1980s, Schwartz has dedicated almost all his research to the problem of collective memory. His work affirms the perspectives of both realism and constructionism.The path of Barry Schwartz’s work runs from interactional social psychology to cognitive sociology, the sociology of knowledge, and collective memory. The last, major, phase cannot be inferred from the first but is inextricably connected to it.
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