Expect a lot of blow this year about the U.S. Civil War, which began 150 years ago and was the most important world event of the 19th century. Most of it, at every level from re-enactors to highly educated “historians,” will be pablum you can safely ignore.
But if you’re interested in language, don’t ignore Lincoln, the greatest writer America has produced. Lincoln’s prose drove action — revolutionary action — more powerfully than any other in the country’s history.
Though my Civil War politics align more with John Brown, Thad Stevens, Frederick Douglass, Tunis Campbell, and Joseph Wedemeyer, the prize for American literature goes to Lincoln.