Monday, January 12, 2009

American Pantheon

Near the top sits Abraham Lincoln, and for many, many reasons this is the case. It is no surprise that Lincoln is so iconic in our history, and has grown in mythical stature with every passing year and "America's Greatest President" poll. It shocks no one that the GOP continually reminds us what party Lincoln was a part of. It seemed poetic that the Lincoln Memorial provided the backdrop for Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Can anyone really wonder why Barack Obama wants to begin his historic presidency surrounded by the symbolism of the Lincoln mythos?

I bring all this up because today I read Christopher Hitchens on Lincoln. While Hitchens sometimes infuriates, the man is one hell of a writer, and pens an eloquent and accesible article on the 16th President and the American Mythology that surrounds him.

And, bonus points if anyone can spot the piece of American Mythology Hitchens inflames while deconstructing others...(clue: no pun intended).


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