A portrait of President Abraham Lincoln taken on November 8, 1863, eleven days before his famed Gettysburg Address.

A portrait of President Abraham Lincoln taken on November 8, 1863, eleven days before his famed Gettysburg Address.

As Donald Trump’s presidency deepened social, racial and political divides in the country, people began to look to the Civil War era for lessons on how to move forward.

Pulitzer prize–winning author Jon Meacham was one of those people. In his new book, “And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle,”  Meacham chronicles the life of Abraham Lincoln, and the evolution of his moral principles and political leadership.

Digging into history is a familiar exercise for Meacham. He has previously written about presidents Andrew Jackson and George H.W. Bush, and his 2018 book, “The Soul of America” traced pivotal moments of struggle in our country’s history — and argued we have always come through the darkness to a better place.

Diane spoke with Jon Meacham about the similarities between the state of democracy in the 1800s and today, and what the era of Lincoln can teach us about contemporary politics.

Guests

  • Jon Meacham Author of "And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle"

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