He’s Still Remembered Reverently By Used Car Dealers

written April 25, 2012     Was Abraham Lincoln “great”? This question was posed to us by Dr. Hansen in January. We could have said yes: he of the five dollars, toys logs, and marbled thrones.  But that would have left a lot of time to fill.  What Dr. Hansen was trying to suggest was…

Shell Games

written February 2015   Shell Games Not many know this: Bonnie Prince Charlie’s heart, the slippery, pulsing piece of warm meat that propelled its perfumed, armored outer shell into leading the famous Scottish insurrection, now resides in a cathedral in Frascati, Italy. It happens to be in Italy and not Scotland because in 1746 the…

That Reminds Me of a Story: Lincoln’s Metaphors and His Audience

written February 2012 Amid the backwoods of Indiana and Illinois Abraham Lincoln received a formal education that was meager, to be kind. With less than a single year in a schoolhouse, Lincoln himself was years later critical of pioneer curriculum.[1] Apart from these “blab schools” Lincoln relied on his own hunger for reading the few…

More than Might: Gilgamesh and Rethinking Acceptable Power in Ancient Mesopotamia

written September 2009 The corrupting influence of power is older than the ancient peoples of Mesopotamia,and the Epic of Gilgamesh provides a window into this ancient struggle over what is acceptable kingly leadership and what, if any, responsibilities does a king have for his subjects? Gilgamesh follows the (possible) maturation process of Uruk’s young ruler,…

Lincoln In Edwardsville: The Moral Idea is Boldly Suggested

written February 2012 Edwardsville had a history of “pseudo-slavery,” embracing Illinois’ Black Laws, and an antagonism towards abolitionists long before Abraham Lincoln spoke in the town in September of 1858.[1]  Gov. Edward Coles’ attempt to free slaves and end Black Codes in 1822 also included a ban on the future “emigration of free negroes to…