Press Releases

Abraham Lincoln and the Fourth Estate – University of Reading

Release Date : 01 November 2004

Statue of liberty on top of the stars and stripesOne of the world's foremost scholars of American history will be discussing the intriguing subject of Abraham Lincoln's relationship with the press at this year's prestigious Stenton Lecture at the University of Reading. Richard Carwardine, Rhodes Professor of American History at the University of Oxford, will be giving his free lecture, 'Abraham Lincoln and the Fourth Estate', at the University's Palmer Building on Thursday 18 November. All are welcome to attend and no ticket is required. "As the president of the world's first mass democracy, during a conflict that many see as the first modern war, and when – remarkably – electoral politics continued to operate, Abraham Lincoln faced a unique challenge, one which he met with a mixture of force and persuasion," said Professor Carwardine. "At a time of unprecedented demand for news and commentary, in a nation of almost universal literacy amongst whites, Lincoln and the wartime White House turned to the newspaper press as a key means of maintaining popular support for the cause as the human carnage mounted. "This lecture will examine Lincoln's handling of editors, his stance on the freedom of the press, and his faith in the power of the word in a nation where newspapers had long been cheap, abundant, unfettered, and regarded as part of the lifeblood of democratic politics." Professor Carwardine recently won the renowned Lincoln Prize, awarded by American philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman, for his biography, Lincoln (Pearson, 2003). In a career spanning more than 30 years, he has worked at universities in both the UK and the US and has had many articles and essays published in learned journals such as the Journal of American History and the Journal of American Studies. This year's Stenton Lecture takes place in the Palmer Theatre at the University of Reading and starts at 6pm on Thursday 18 November. The long-running Stenton Lecture Series is named after Frank Stenton, who was Professor of History at The University of Reading between 1926 and 1946. He was also the University's Vice-Chancellor between 1946 and 1950. End For further information, please contact Craig Hillsley, The University of Reading's press officer: 0118 378 7388


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