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Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series at UIS features Pulitzer Prize-winning author

September 20, 2004

SPRINGFIELD - Mark E. Neely, Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning author, will deliver the first lecture in the Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series on Thursday, October 7, at the University of Illinois at Springfield.  The theme of this year’s Series, on October 7, 14, and 21, is “Ethics and Power.”

Neely’s talk, “Civil Liberties in Lincoln’s Presidency,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library on the UIS campus. His lecture is free and open to the public. No reservations are required and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Neely is the McCabe-Greer Professor of Civil War History at Pennsylvania State University. His many works on Lincoln include The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberty (Oxford University Press, 1991), which won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for History; The Union Divided: Party Conflict in the Civil War North (Harvard University Press, 2002); and The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America (Harvard University Press, 1993). Neely also served as director of the Lincoln Museum in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, for 20 years, from 1972 to 1992. He holds a Ph.D. in History from Yale University.

Mark W. Summers, professor of History at the University of Kentucky, will discuss “The Politics of Patronage in Lincoln’s Era” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 14, in Brookens Auditorium.  Summers is the author of numerous books, including The Era of Good Stealings (Oxford University Press, 1992) and The Plundering Generation: Corruption and the Crisis of the Union, 1848-1861 (Oxford University Press, 1987).  A member of the history faculty at UK since 1989, he teaches such topics as the Civil War and Reconstruction, 19th century American history, and the history of political cartoons.  Summers holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

The series will conclude on October 21 with “Lincoln’s Presidential Virtues,” presented by William L. Miller, Scholar in Ethics and Institutions at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. His talk will also be held at 7:30 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium. Miller is the author of Lincoln’s Virtues: An Ethical Biography (Alfred A. Knopf, 2002), chosen by the Abraham Lincoln Institute as the best book on Lincoln published that year, and Arguing about Slavery (Alfred A. Knopf, 1996). Retired from the UV faculty since 1999, Miller previously served that institution as professor of Religious Studies, Commonwealth Professor, and Thomas C. Sorensen Professor of Political and Social Thought. He received his Ph.D. in Religious Social Ethics from Yale.

Each year UIS’ Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series brings nationally renowned scholars to Springfield to present lectures on public policy issues that, while they are of contemporary interest, are also topics that engaged Abraham Lincoln and the citizens of his era.  Speakers focus on the topic’s modern form as well as how Lincoln addressed it.  Sponsors are the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership and Phillip Shaw Paludan, Professor of History and Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair of Lincoln Studies at UIS.

“In the days before our 54th peaceful presidential election, what better time to evaluate Lincoln’s commitment to the ethical use of power,” said Paludan, who will serve as moderator for all three lectures.

He received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and Harvard Law School. He is the winner of the Barondess Lincoln award and the Lincoln Prize and is the author of four books dealing with Constitutional history, and 19th century U.S. social, intellectual, and political history.

For more information, contact the Center at 217/206-6576.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 40 degree programs – 20 bachelor’s, 19 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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