Has Lincoln always been cool? A new museum in Springfield, Illinois. Obama’s hand on the 16th president’s bible. Shelves full of new biographies. It’s hard for me to tell because I’ve lived in the Land of Lincoln all of my life and I work for a press that publishes a new Lincoln hardcover or paperback almost every season. With my greater than 6’4″ frame and prominent jaw, I’ve been asked on more than one occasion to portray Abraham Lincoln in a “theater production” or book conference promotion. The point is, I have no perspective.
With Lincoln’s 200th birthday passing at the end of the day, most of the coverage of Lincoln literature will likely end. But, the University of Illinois Press will continue to publish books on Lincoln in his 201st year. My license plates will still say Land of Lincoln. And, my work colleagues will still attempt to glue a black beard to my face at Book Expo. That’s definitely not cool.