David S. Reynolds

Jewish moneylender choking debtor

"A Fiendish Fascination"

The representation of Jews in antebellum popular culture reveals that many Americans found them both cartoonishly villainous and enticingly exotic.
Collage of drawings of various people and objects, including Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln.

Throngs of Unseen People

A new history of spiritualism during the Civil War era suggests an unexpected link between the Lincoln family and that of John Wilkes Booth.
‘This Little Boy would persist in handling Books Above His Capacity—and this was the Disastrous Result’; cartoon of Andrew Johnson by Thomas Nast, 1868

He Was No Moses

While he opposed slavery and southern secession early in his career, as president Andrew Johnson turned out to be an unsightly bigot.
Wooden cross in the Eli Jackson Methodist Church cemetery in San Juan, Texas.

When Slaves Fled to Mexico

A new book tells the forgotten story of fugitive slaves who found freedom south of the border.
Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln’s Rowdy America

A new biography details the cultural jumble of literature, dirty jokes, and everything in between that went into the making of the foremost self-made American.
The Lincoln Memorial.

Channeling Lincoln’s Ideological Balancing Act Will Lead Biden to Success

In his time, the 16th president drew comparisons to a famous tightrope walker.

Fine Specimens

How Walt Whitman became the quintessential poet of disability and death.