The Martyr and the Myth

Richard Nelson Current

in The Lincoln Assassination

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780823232260
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240784 | DOI:

Series: The North's Civil War

The Martyr and the Myth

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This chapter presents the reprinting of a classic piece—Richard Nelson Current's justly famous essay on Lincoln as the victim of both murder and mythology. It was originally published more than half a century ago in Current's memorable book The Lincoln Nobody Knows. The essay is included here for many reasons. First, it seemed remarkable that Current's scholarship still has so much to teach us—that his writing style still delights us—so long after he first wrote these words. Second, the Forum wanted to honor this great historian for whom its annual award of achievement is named and who stands alone today as the dean of all Lincoln scholars. Current not only consented to the reprinting of the essay but at the age of ninety-six made a significant alteration in which—with typical honesty and elegance—he changes his mind on a point he first made in 1953.

Keywords: Richard Nelson Current; Abraham Lincoln; murder; mythology

Chapter.  7736 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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