July 20, 2019

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Professor, Lincoln expert to deliver program
LAWRENCEVILLE - Award-winning Lincoln scholar Dr. Brian Richard Dirck will be the guest speaker at the meeting of the Lawrence County Historical Society on April 22.

Dirck's program will begin at 7 p.m. at the Lawrence County History Center, located at the corner of State and 12th streets.

Dirck, professor of history at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana, is the author of "The Black Heavens: Abraham Lincoln and Death," published in February by Southern Illinois University Press.

Dirck has written or edited seven books on Lincoln and the Civil War era, including "Lincoln and Davis," a comparative study of Lincoln and his Confederate counterpart, Jefferson Davis, "Lincoln and the Constitution," "Abraham Lincoln and White America" and "Lincoln in Indiana."

His book, "Lincoln the Lawyer," published by the University of Illinois Press, won the 2007 Barondess Award from the New York Civil War Roundtable.

In "The Black Heavens," Dirck examines Lincoln's personal encounters with death, from the loss of his mother at age nine to the carnage of the Civil War, and how these tragedies both impacted and reflected his character and thought.

Historian Stephen Berry writes that Dirck's "The Black Heavens" "reveals the face of death as Lincoln's generation really knew it. Spare and unsparing, this book is a gem."

Dirck received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Kansas, where he studied under the tutelage of pre-eminent Civil War and Lincoln scholar Philip S. Paludan.

His first book, "Lincoln and Davis: Imagining America, 1809-1865," was based on his dissertation, offering a comparative analysis of the two Civil War presidents' lives and careers.

He has since focused most of his attention on Lincoln. He edited and contributed to a collection of essays entitled "Lincoln Emancipated: The President and the Politics of Race."

The program is free and open to the public.


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