As usual my family and I took our annual July excursion down to Springfield to visit the Lincoln Museum and to pray for the repose of Mr. Lincoln’s soul at his tomb. My son outside the tomb lifted up a little girl who was trying to reach the nose of Lincoln’s bust outside of the tomb so she could rub it for luck. Thus are bits of Lincoln lore passed down the generations. As usual I purchased books at the Museum and at the Prairie Archives bookstore.
- Stanton, Walter Stahr (2017)-Lincoln’s Secretary of War is one of those major figures of the Civil War who, for one reason or another, never seem to attract scholarly attention. The research on Stanton has been truly meager, considering his importance, and hopefully this volume will spur further study of Lincoln’s “Mars”.
- Lincoln in the Atlantic World, Louise L. Stevenson (2015)- A look at how Lincoln incorporated knowledge from abroad both before and during his Presidency. I will need some convincing here. Few presidents have been more consumed by domestic considerations than Lincoln, and few presidents have been more completely focused throughout their careers on the US than Lincoln.
- Lincoln’s Greatest Journey, Noah Andre Trudeau (2016)- A veteran Civil War historian puts under the microscope the sixteen days that Lincoln spent with Grant at the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac at the tail end of the War.
- Our One Common Country, James B. Conroy (2014)- A look at the abortive peace conference on February 3, 1865 which demonstrated why the Civil War was fought: no grounds for compromise existed between the warring parties.
- Grant Rises in the West, Kenneth P. Williams, (1952, 1956)-Williams died of cancer in 1958 before he could complete his five volume study, Lincoln Finds a General. These two volumes look at Grant up through the siege of Vicksburg. Grant was fortunate that he had a few years to master the trade of being a general before he faced Lee in the Overland Campaign of 1864.
- Hitler: The Man and the Military Leader, Percy Ernst Schramm (1963-English translation 1970)-In the very top echelon of German medievalists prior to World War II, Schramm, with the rank of Major, served as staff diarist for the German General Staff during the War and had daily access to the High Command.
- A History of the Habsburg Empire 1526-1918 (1974)-How this rattletrap collection of odds and ends survived as an empire as long as it did is one of the miracles of European history. Compare and contrast the immensely powerful Second Reich that endured from 1871-1918.
- Lawrence of Arabia, Jeremy Wilson (1990)- The authorized, by his then surviving brother, biography of T.E. Lawrence. New studies of Lawrence show up regularly and I doubt if there will ever be one that can be claimed to be definitive. Lawrence was a fabulist (liar) of the first order, and loved telling conflicting versions of events in his life, and that greatly increases the work of any biographer. Additionally, the people who came into contact with Lawrence often had quite different recollections than those set down by Lawrence. Lawrence was a scholar and artist pretending to be a great warrior and prophet of Arab nationalism, and the pretense seems to have caused him to become somewhat detached from reality. A deeply strange man who still eludes biographers down to the present.