Sunday, February 24, 2013
And the winner is...
The Oscars are on tonight. Daniel Day-Lewis better take Best Actor for Lincoln. His performance was fantastic. I recently discovered DDL's -- as he is sometimes referred to -- father was Cecil Day-Lewis, poet laureate for the U.K. from 1968 until his death in 1972. I've never read any of Cecil Day-Lewis' work. But if there is a shred of evidence that proves great artists bread great artists I would put money on that father and son. I've been impressed with DDL ever since I saw Last of the Mohicans with my father when I was a teenager. I later learned he was a method actor, and apparently he spent weeks living in the woods preparing for his role as Nathaniel Chingachgook.
So in the spirit of Lincoln, here are three books (in addition to Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals, which the movie is loosely based on) for anyone who is interested in Lincoln, and particularly his writing:
1. Lincoln At Gettysburg by Garry Wills
2. Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer by Fred Kaplan
3. Lincoln's Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words by Douglas Wilson
It is hard to only pick three. There are so many great books about Lincoln, thousands in fact, that you can divide them into their own categories, e.g., Lincoln on law, on writing, on politics, biography, emancipation, and so on.