Click here to read responses by Michael Kazin, John Stauffer, and Fred Kaplan. Click here to read Sean Wilentz's response to his critics. When Thomas Jefferson wrote, "All men are created equal," he did not have African Americans in mind. Or so I claimed in Lincoln on Race and Slavery. Sean Wilentz ("Who Lincoln Was," July 15, 2009) is inclined to be skeptical.
Click here to read letters by Fred Kaplan, Michael Kazin, John Stauffer, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The following is Sean Wilentz's response to their letters. I wrote a 25,000 word essay about Abraham Lincoln, not Barack Obama. My aim was to review some of the most prominent scholarly books interpreting Lincoln on the occasion of his bicentennial, and to offer a different view of Lincoln as, first and foremost, a democratic politician.