Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Chronicling the History of the Book as Object

From my first posting on the Public Humanist blog:

Commentators, friend and foe, have made much of Barack Obama’s calculated appropriation of the legacy of Lincoln. What most struck me, as a book historian, was his decision to take the inaugural oath on the bible that Lincoln used in 1861.

In the Senate Chamber, Jill Biden struggled with a massive family bible (in Maureen Dowd’s catty phrase, “the size of a Buick”). The small “Lincoln” Bible, by contrast, was not Lincoln’s (still in his luggage) or even American (it was published in Oxford), . . .

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