The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum invites anyone with a love of history and books to join its brown-bag book discussions throughout 2016.
The books will take readers from the 1860 presidential election to the violent streets of Chicago, from modern Washington, D.C. to a fateful moment of violence in American religion.
The discussions take place in the classroom of the Lincoln Presidential Library (112 N. Sixth Street, Springfield) from noon to 1 p.m. Participants are welcome to bring lunch.
The first discussion takes place Tuesday, Jan. 19, and actually covers two brief books from Southern Illinois University Press: “Lincoln and the Immigrant” by Jason Silverman and “Lincoln and the Election of 1860” by Michael S. Green.
The first examines Lincoln’s personal attitudes and official policies during a period when America saw a huge influx of immigrants from around the world. The second takes a close look at Lincoln’s political maneuvering to secure the Republican presidential nomination in 1860 and then win the White House with the nation on the brink of civil war.
The rest of the books and discussion dates are:
March 15: “Seeking Bipartisanship: My Life in Politics” by Ray LaHood. (Cambria Press)
May 17: “American Crucifixion: the Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church” by Alex Beam. (Public Affairs)
July 19: “Gangland Chicago: Criminality and Lawlessness in the Windy City” by Richard C. Lindberg. (Rowman & Littlefield)
Sept. 20: “Lincoln’s Greatest Case: the River, the Bridge, and the Making of America” by Brian McGinty. (Liveright Publishing)
Nov. 15: “Dividing the Union: Jesse Burgess Thomas and the Making of the Missouri Compromise” by Matthew W. Hall. (Southern Illinois University Press)