Wednesday was the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death. It’s hard to spend too much time reflecting on Lincoln; I use the first thing he ever published, comparing two infrastructure projects in a local election campaign, as an example of policy analysis avant la lettre, and he just gets better and better from there. Even David Brooks says he becomes a better man spending quiet time in the Lincoln Memorial. The second inaugural is one of great works of public discourse; terse, just, humane. I think French’s portrait nails it: brilliant, menschlich, determined; open hand, closed fist. Lincoln makes everyone reach a little higher.
I listened the grooves off this wonderful cantata when I was a kid, and I’m pleased to find that someone has posted it here , here, and here. It was performed live, after fifty years on the shelf, in 2009.
There’s no video; remember how to make your own pictures in your own head? Take a half-hour, just to be sure we don’t forget what a real American is.