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Honoring perhaps the most celebrated and important president in history, the Lincoln Memorial is one of our most recognized national shrines. It seems impossible to envision the Mall in Washington, D.C. or national pageantry without it--yet the Lincoln Memorial was almost not built. From the project's inception, the memorial--a modified Greek temple designed by architect Henry Bacon--gave rise to charged cultural and aesthetic debate, including arguments about Modernism and Americanism. Christopher Thomas offers the first detailed analysis of Bacon's design and the memorial as a system, including the statue of Lincoln by Daniel Chester French. Using extensive archival data, Thomas discusses just why the memorial looks as it does.
Because the idea of a memorial to Lincoln raised questions of race, the legacy of the Civil War, and lingering sectional animosities, the project sparked political debate between the legislative and executive branches of government and between political parties. Thomas traces the long and controversial path of the project, ranging from the immediate aftermath of the Civil War through the Progressive era, with its mix of novelty, racism, and imperialism. As he concentrates on the memorial's background, design, construction, reception, and uses--including the many public demonstrations for civil rights and justice that have taken place there--Thomas shows that the Lincoln Memorial is not a neutral symbol of America at all but a partisan and racially coded object, susceptible to appropriation and re-appropriation.
A valuable contribution to American studies, this book combines architecture and art history with American history and politics. It will appeal to scholars in these fields and to any general reader with an interest in Lincoln, the early twentieth century, and the monuments of our nation's capital.
From the Back Cover:
"Using a detailed chronicling of historical events and a masterful writing style, Christopher Thomas has created a engaging reminder that architecture is a worldly art; one that is as much influenced by the complexities of the culture it serves as by the skills and talents of architects. Eschewing tiresome trends for narrowly focused, superficial, or purely theoretical examinations of our architectural icons, The Lincoln Memorial and American Life examines fifty-seven years of American life that influenced the creation of the Lincoln Memorial and the ensuing seventy-nine years during which the memorial has provided a site for transformative public rituals. The book gives the reader a rare but welcome glimpse of the politics, competitive intrigues, and self-interests that fused with altruism and the talents of architect Henry Bacon to give shape to one of our nation's most enduring memorials. Everyone interested in architecture and American culture will enjoy this book as much as I did."--James H. Boniface
"The Lincoln Memorial and American Life is engagingly written and is easy and fun to read. As the first synthetic study of one of the world's best known monuments, it is obviously an important contribution to American architectural and cultural history."--Kirk Savage, author of Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America
"Presenting abundant new information, this book places the Lincoln Memorial in accurate historical context. General readers as well as scholars will learn much from it, and will enjoy reading the author's clear, lively prose."--Carol Herselle Krinsky, New York University
Title: The Lincoln Memorial and American Life
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: 2002
Book Condition: Used: Good
Book Description Princeton University Press, 2002. Book Condition: Good. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP72961060
Book Description Princeton University Press, 2002. Book Condition: Very Good. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP7594618
Book Description Princeton University Press, 2002. Book Condition: Good. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP85958529
Book Description Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good +. Dust Jacket Condition: very good +. Second printing. "Thomas offers the first detailed analysis of Bacon's design and the memorial as a system, including the statue of Lincoln by Daniel Chester French." [from publsher] Includes numerous black and white illustrations, bibliography, and index. A clean, unmarked copy. Bookseller Inventory # 6874
Book Description Princeton University Press, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG069101194X
Book Description Princeton University Press 2002-06-01, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: good. 069101194X. Bookseller Inventory # 501970
Book Description Princeton University Press, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Some pencil notes and underlining, otherwise solid, reading condition; 0.88 x 10.3 x 7.76 Inches; 256 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 152313
Book Description Princeton University Press, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Great condition with minimal wear, aging, or shelf wear. Bookseller Inventory # P02069101194X
Book Description Princeton University Press, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: Like New. Almost new condition. Bookseller Inventory # P01069101194X
Book Description Princeton University Press, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11069101194X