CRF Blog

Reframing a President

by Bill Hayes

In Reframing a President for the New York Times Book Review, Alice Kessler-Harris reviews Six Encounters with Lincoln: A President Confronts Democracy and Its Demons by Elizabeth Brown Pryor.

At a moment when questions about the efficacy of democracy are on everyone’s lips, this book eerily reflects some of today’s key issues. Among them are the military’s part in domestic policy; the protections appropriate to noncitizens (in Lincoln’s case, Native Americans); the limits of female citizenship; the meaning of free speech; and states’ rights to contravene personal liberty.

Abraham Lincoln confronted these and other issues during his tenure as president … [more]