Arrival of the Delegates to the Republican Convention in Chicago, by W.B. Baird, 1860. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
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“I think the mood in 1860 would have a haunting familiarity to people today,” Edward Achorn says at the start of this episode of The World in Time, discussing the setting of The Lincoln Miracle: Inside the Republican Convention That Changed History. “The politics in the country seemed to have broken down. People were talking at each other. They were no longer listening to each other. They were increasingly using violence or looking toward violence as a way to settle their differences. So the whole political system was breaking down…There was a long, protracted fight over the selection of a House speaker, which is normally a pretty much rote action. There was a view…that Washington had become this festering swamp full of elites who didn’t have any sort of connection with common people in America.” And it was in this moment that Abraham Lincoln, a relatively unknown figure, became a presidential candidate.
This week on the podcast, Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Ed Achorn, author of The Lincoln Miracle: Inside the Republican Convention That Changed History.
Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.