Alton

Discovering Equality

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery By Eric Foner (W.W. Norton, 426 pp., $29.95) I. As we begin a raft of sesquicentennials that will carry us through at least the next half-decade—the secession of Southern states, the formation of the Confederacy, the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, Appomattox, and so on—I confess to feeling a mixture of excitement and trepidation. These are all signal events in our history, the roadblocks and thoroughfares in the making of modern America, and at a time of general crisis they are especially important to revisit.

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So the White House has finally announced the full list of where that $8 billion in stimulus money for high-speed rail is going. Here are the two big, headline-grabbing projects: * Florida will get $1.25 billion for a high-speed line between Tampa and Orlando, which is expected to cost about $3.5 billion all told. Read Adie Tomer's critical take on the Tampa-Orlando project below. * California will get $2.25 billion to help with a planned high-speed line between Anaheim and San Francisco.

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