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Dec. 19, 2008
Contact: Jonathan Earle, Dole Institute of Politics, (785) 864-4900.

Dole Institute plans series of events focused on Abraham Lincoln

LAWRENCE — Four of the nation’s leading Abraham Lincoln experts, including the authors of two new path-breaking biographies, will visit the Dole Institute of Politics in February and March to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the 16th president’s birth. All programs will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the institute and are free and open to the public.

“In the aftermath of a historic presidential election, it seems fitting that we focus on the man so many Americans view as our best president,” said Dole Institute Director Bill Lacy. “It also happens to be a specialty of the institute’s Associate Director for Programming Jonathan Earle.”

Earle is writing a book about the election of 1860 focusing on the Lincoln campaign.

Richard Norton Smith, the Dole Institute’s first permanent director and former director of the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill., will kick off the series Sunday, Feb. 8. Michael Burlingame, a professor emeritus at Connecticut College, will discuss his long-awaited two-volume biography “Lincoln: A Life” on Tuesday, Feb. 17. Los Angeles-based historian Ron White, author of the newly published “A. Lincoln,” will speak on Monday, March 2. KU’s own assistant professor of history Jennifer Weber will conclude the series Tuesday, March 10, with a discussion of Lincoln’s challenging 1864 campaign for re-election.

In 2004, the Dole Institute presented a well-received series of Lincoln speakers on five consecutive evenings billed as “Lincoln Week,” said Earle.

“This time, we decided to spread the programs out to accommodate more people,” he said. “The public’s interest in Lincoln continues to know no bounds — and this year, with a bicentennial and a new president from Illinois who frequently quotes the 16th president, we’re hoping to put the Dole Institute and KU at the center of the discussion.”

Book signings will follow each program.

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