I am reading this morning a wonderful little book:  “Lincoln’s Humor” and Other Essays, by Benjamin Thomas.  It is a collection of essays by Thomas, one of the great Lincoln biographers, edited and published after his death by another great Lincoln biographer, Michael Burlingame. One of the essays deals with yet another Lincoln biographer:  Ida…

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Seward’s letters to his first and best friend, Thurlow Weed, are an invaluable source for his biographer.  The letters survive, in the original, in the files at the University of Rochester.  I reviewed hundreds of the Seward-Weed letters myself; many others were reviewed and “transcribed” by my great research assistant Kristi Martin; others were printed…

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One of the advantages of living in two places is that the pleasure of “coming home” to books in the “other place.”  We were in our Virginia home for a few days this month, and I found a number of books that I had not seen or read in years.  One of them, a particular…

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What follows is an email I sent to Michael Gerson, former speechwriter for the second George Bush, reacting to a line in an article in today’s Washington Post. Dear Mr. Gerson: I enjoyed your article in this morning’s Washington Post and I agree with your main point:  presidents and candidates should use speechwriters.  Perhaps this…

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I have had my first Seward book event, or “pre-book event,” because the book is not out yet.  It was a small event for friends of the MIND Institute, a California educational charity.  As I said at the outset of the event, it was very fitting, given how strongly Seward believed in education.  Education, he…

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I have missed, by a day, posting about Seward’s great speech of February 29, 1860, on February 29, 2012.  By early 1860, Seward was the presumptive Republican nominee.  If there had been Intrade odds in those days, Seward would have been trading at 80% with all other Republican candidates, including Lincoln, adding up to the…

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