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Extended Audio Sample Lincoln’s Body: A Cultural History, by Richard Wightman Fox Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Wightman Fox Narrator: Pete Larkin Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A groundbreaking, magisterial study that explains why, like Walt Whitman, we “love the president personally”

In a stunning feat of scholarship, insight, and engaging prose, Lincoln’s Body explores how a president ungainly in body and downright “ugly” of aspect came to mean so much to us.

Nineteenth-century African Americans felt deep affection for their “liberator” as a “homely” man who did not hold himself apart; Southerners felt a nostalgia for Abraham Lincoln as a humble “conciliator.” Later, educators glorified Lincoln as a symbol of nationhood to help assimilate poor immigrants. Monument makers focused not only on a gigantic body but also on a nationalist union, downplaying emancipation. Among both black and white liberals in the 1960s and 1970s, Lincoln was derided or fell out of fashion. Recently, Lincoln has been embodied once again (as idealist and pragmatist) by outstanding historians, by self-identified Lincolnian president Barack Obama, and by actor Daniel Day-Lewis—all keeping Lincoln alive in a body of memory that speaks volumes about our nation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Richard Wightman Fox has ingeniously portrayed the physical body of Abraham Lincoln, living and dead, in his own time and in memory, as a vehicle for evaluating Lincoln’s continuing impact on American culture.”

    James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom

  • “With subtle analysis and supple writing, preeminent cultural historian Richard Wightman Fox is especially insightful on the African-American experiences of Lincoln. Readers will sense from the first page that this is a book they will want to linger over in their delight.”

    Ronald C. White Jr., New York Times bestselling author of A. Lincoln: A Biography

  • “In death, Abraham Lincoln, who never joined a church, proceeded from martyrdom to culthood to sainthood. In Lincoln’s Body the eminent culture historian Richard Wightman Fox offers a dazzling interpretation of how it all happened, filled with fresh ideas about our greatest president’s legacy.”

    Sean Wilentz, New York Times bestselling author of Bob Dylan in America

  • “A penetrating exposition of the hold that Abraham Lincoln still has on American history, our minds, and perhaps our future…It’s a search for understanding ourselves…A compelling read that enhances scholarship on the president.”

    Library Journal

  • “Narrator Pete Larkin keeps the material flowing. His pleasant voice mitigates the sometimes scholarly tone of the writing. His pacing is effective, and he adds just the right notes of drama to the descriptions of the assassination and the mournful aftermath. The author’s most significant contributions to Lincoln scholarship are the portrayals of Lincoln in the African-American press and community, and Larkin reads these sections with the freshness they deserve.”


  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
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About the Author

Richard Wightman Fox is a professor of history at the University of Southern California and the author of Jesus in America and Trials of Intimacy, among other books. He lives in Venice, California.