"[A]n intimate, bracing account [that] unearths a valuable story, one that shouldn’t be missed..."--Washington Post
150 years ago, Lincoln's death brought grief, fear and glee
Review of "Mourning Lincoln" by Martha Hodes
By Carlos Lozada, Washington Post April 1 at 6:00 AM
By Martha Hodes. Yale University Press. 396 pp. $30
"National reactions to great tragedy often seem captured in history-ready scenes. A president with a bullhorn, pledging vengeance in front of the rubble. A 3-year-old standing in salute, watching his slain father’s coffin go by. These images simplify and unify, replacing the mess of conflicting emotions that national traumas invariably produce.
Martha Hodes prefers the mess. The assassination of Abraham Lincoln, 150 years ago this month, has its own sacred texts, with Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” and “O Captain! My Captain!” foremost among them. But Hodes, a historian at New York University, has collected many more. “Mourning Lincoln” draws on letters and...