Gettysburg College prof probes political debates on NPR's WHYY

Gettysburg College's Civil War Era Studies Professor Allen Guelzo appeared on "Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane," Philadelphia's NPR affiliate WHYY serving southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware and South Jersey, on May 13.

Guelzo talked about his new book, "Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates that Defined America," which dramatizes and underscores the historical significance of the 1858 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, a contest between Republican Lincoln and the Democrat incumbent Sen. Stephen A. Douglas. Across Illinois, Lincoln and Douglas met seven times to debate the principal issue dividing the nation: the future of slavery. While Lincoln lost the election, he gained a national prominence that propelled him into the presidency after a rematch with Douglas in 1860.

Guelzo also talked about the possibility that the Lincoln-Douglas style of debate could serve as a model for future presidential meetings between the candidates - an idea that TIME Magazine political columnist Joe Klein recently wrote about in May 18's issue.

An audio clip of the interview is available.  

Guelzo also appeared on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart in February. A video of Guelzo's conversation with Stewart is available . He has also been mentioned in TIME, The Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. His opinion piece, "Lincoln-Douglas: The Real Thing," appeared Feb. 3 in the Washington Post and in several other newspapers. In addition, Guelzo took part in the White House's commemoration of the 199th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush hosted the event Feb. 10.

Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and a professor of history at Gettysburg College. He is formerly Dean of the Templeton Honors College and the Grace F. Kea Professor of American History at Eastern University. He holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania, M.Div. from Philadelphia Theological Seminary and honorary doctorate in history from Lincoln College in Illinois.

Guelzo's essays, reviews, and articles have appeared in publications ranging from the American Historical Review and Wilson Quarterly to newspapers such as the Philadelphia Inquirer and Wall Street Journal. In 2000, his book Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President won both the Lincoln Prize and the Abraham Lincoln Institute Prize. He did it again in 2005 with his book, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America, making him the first double Lincoln Laureate in the history of both prizes.

Guelzo has received several teaching and writing awards, including the American Library Association Choice Award, Albert C. Outler Prize in Ecumenical Church History and Dean's Award for Distinguished Graduate Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Posted: Wed, 14 May 2008

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