Table of Contents

Ascension : Lincoln in the Great Depression.
Apex : Lincoln in the Second World War.
Transition : Cold War, racial conflict, and contested images of Lincoln.
Transfiguration : civil rights movement, vanishing savior of the Union.
Erosion : fading prestige, benign ridicule.
Post-heroic era : acids of equality and the waning of greatness.
Inertia : the enduring Lincoln. By the 1920s, Abraham Lincoln had transcended the lingering controversies of the Civil War to become a secular saint, honored in North and South alike for his steadfast leadership in crisis. Throughout the Great Depression and World War II, Lincoln was invoked countless times as a reminder of America's strength and wisdom, a commanding ideal against which weary citizens could see their own hardships in perspective. But as Barry Schwartz reveals in Abraham Lincoln in the Post-Heroic Era, those years represent the apogee of Lincoln's prestige. The decades following World War II brought radical c.