Mr. Sandburg, speak to us!

B. Nash with February 21, 1938 eidition of LIFEIMG_0344










Your humble webmaster is holding a copy of the February 21, 1938 edition of LIFE featuring Carl Sandburg on the cover.  1938.  Adolf Hitler was about to plunge the world into a war that would end in the deaths of millions. It was a time of great concerns. Mr. Sandburg was at the cusp of being awarded the Pulitzer Prize (1940) for his monumental biography of Abraham Lincoln. That work spoke to countless people then. I think it can still speak to us now. I agree with author Harry Golden who wrote in his book Carl Sandburg about Sandburg’s Lincoln the following:

“The six volumes not only re-create what America was but what America could and morally ought to be. The Lincoln focused on the fortitude with which terror, frightfulness, destruction, hard choice, and sacrifice must be borne to give life heroic dimensions.”

Furthermore, Golden continues, Sandburg’s Lincoln- or the myth of Lincoln that he gave us-is “…a story which lends itself to constant retelling without ever becoming oververbalized and dissipated.”

So Carl Sandburg still speaks to us. His biography of Lincoln can still speak to us-even though it has fallen out of fashion, if you will, in certain  circles. As Mr. Golden said, the work re-creates what America was-and what is ought to be now. In other words, what the biography says—is timeless. Have you read it?

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