Tuesday, May 19, 2009

David Herbert Donald

David Herbert Donald died yesterday.


  1. Thanks, Robert.

    You and Chartres are much closer readers of the news than I am. I had totally missed it, and had read the book review information from the Times today.

    Here's the link:


    As I posted down below, Fredrickson, in the little book on Lincoln I recently read (BIG ENOUGH TO BE INCONSISTENT) calls Donald and Cardwardine's biographies the two most notable recent biographies that manage to avoid "judging him from the standpoint of contemporary liberal or conservative ideologies" (this was published in 2008 so it was probably written before Burlingame's massive work).

    He writes that "the balance and relative objectivity that characterize these works have been rare in the scholarship about a president who has become a national icon."

    [Fredrickson provides an interesting historiographical overview of Lincoln studies/biographies, showing how, generally, we get the Lincoln we want and/or need.]

  2. Robert, I added a picture for you but see now that your headline already links to the Times obituary. You are way ahead of me when it comes to this internet stuff.....

  3. I saw that Donald got his start by examining Lincoln's law partner, William Herndon.

  4. Here's a wonderful tribute, that was linked from the bibliophiles and battlefields site:


    Makes me want to run out and get one of his books.

  5. Hi Folks!

    Good to see that the exchange of ideas re American history is being conducted in a much more relaxed manner here on this forum.

    So sad to read of the loss of the Professor Donald. He was a genius of a man who was remarkably articulate and knowledgeable about the Nation's past.

    ~~ known on another forum as Thanatopsy ~~

  6. Great to have you aboard, Than. Drop me a line at Dzimas61@gmail.com and I can send you an invite to be a contributor.

  7. Welcome Tripp.

    History isn't dead. It isn't even past.

    Grab a copy of Goodwin and join in.