Jan. 20, 2004

Contact: Jonathan Earle, Dole Institute of Politics, (785) 864-1422, jonearle@ku.edu.

Former history professor, author returns to KU for Lincoln Week lecture

LAWRENCE -- The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas has announced that it will add former KU faculty member and award-winning author Phillip Paludan to its lineup of scholars, authors and historians who will pay tribute to Abraham Lincoln during Kansas' sesquicentennial celebration next month during "Lincoln Week."

The five-evening event, which will run from Sunday, Feb. 8, through Thursday, Feb. 12, will feature lectures by some of the nation's pre-eminent experts on the United States' 16th president. The series will culminate with a presentation by Pulitzer Prize-winning author James M. McPherson.

Paludan replaces author Harold Holzer, who had been scheduled to make a presentation on Feb. 10.

Lectures will be free and open to the public. The first four lectures will be at 7 p.m. in the Dole Institute's Hansen Hall. The final lecture will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, in the Kansas Union ballroom at KU.

The first lecture, on Sunday, Feb. 8 will feature Douglas Wilson, director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. Wilson is the author of "Honor's Voice," a book that details Lincoln's life before entering the White House. Wilson also has written several other books on Lincoln and on Thomas Jefferson.

Allen Guelzo, Grace F. Kea professor of American history at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pa., will speak Feb. 9. Guelzo was a co-winner of the 2001 Lincoln Prize for his biography, "Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President." He also has written books on the Civil War and American religious history.

Paludan, the Naomi B. Lynn distinguished chair of Lincoln studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield, will speak Tuesday, Feb. 10. Paludan wrote "Victims: A True Story of the Civil War," "A People's Contest: The Union and Civil War" and "The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln," which won the 1995 Lincoln Prize. He was a professor for many years in the history department at KU.

On Wednesday, Feb. 11, the fourth lecture will feature Jean Baker, professor of history at Goucher College in Baltimore. Baker is a leading authority on Mary Todd Lincoln and is author of "Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography." She also is writing a book about the nation's 15th president, James Buchanan.

The final lecture, to take place on the 195th anniversary of Lincoln's birth on Thursday, Feb. 12, will feature Pulitzer Prize winner James M. McPherson, George Henry Davis '86 professor of history at Princeton University in New Jersey. McPherson has written several books about the abolitionist movement, the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln and Reconstruction. His 1988 book, "Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era," won the Pultizer Prize. In 1998, McPherson won the Lincoln Prize for his book "For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War."

Jonathan Earle, associate director for academic programming at the Dole Institute, said the five-day event will be an opportunity for KU and the institute to help get Kansans in touch with the heritage of their state and its place at the center of national political debates of the mid-19th century.

"Lincoln Week represents the Dole Institute and KU's contribution to the sesquicentennial of Lawrence and Kansas," Earle said. "It's a great way to get members of the community focused on the momentous issues that faced the residents of Kansas Territory 150 years ago."

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