I've been reading a new book by Allen C. Guelzo that shines a spotlight upon both Lincoln and Douglas during their great debate series of 1858. The author delves into the personalities of these two political adversaries as well as their political philosophies. The author uses grids for each debate for those readers who would like to use score cards. Descriptions of the various communities involved, including Galesburg (pp 215-233). Much has been written about these events but this book will open new vistas and raise questions that define that period in our nation's history. As the book's cover jacket indicates:"What is democracy's purpose? Is it to satisfy the desires of the majority? Or is it to achieve a just and moral public order?" That query was the $64,000 question going into the 1860's.
I look forward to a great trip to New Salem on June 28th and a stimulating year with Abe Lincoln scholars as we continue to develop a finer appreciation of the intellect, humor, wisdom and compassion of our 16th President.