By Linda Wheeler of the Washington Post, Page VA12, March 8, 2007″Judges for the prestigious Lincoln Award had a tough choice when they picked a book on Abraham Lincoln as a wordsmith over a true romance across the color line and a moral history of the Civil War. They are all good reads.”
The winner, selected from a field of 119 books by a panel of three historians last month, is “Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words” by Douglas L. Wilson, co-director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. Wilson, who will receive $50,000 at a banquet in New York on April 2, won the same competition in 1999 for his book “Honor’s Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln.”
Wilson’s book is a rare two-for-one in the U.S. history field, because it will appeal to students of Lincoln as well as to serious writers. Wilson was an English professor at Knox for 36 years before he took the position with the Lincoln Studies Center. He gently deconstructs Lincoln’s most famous speeches, including the Gettysburg Address, tracing the work as it was developed, written and rewritten, reviewed by colleagues, polished and then presented.