The Rise of Lincoln & U.S. Division

The Common Good was proud to present a special discussion between Sidney Blumenthal, author, journalist, and past Presidential advisor, and John Avlon, CNN anchor, Senior Political Analyst and author. They dove into one of the most divisive periods in American history, the unlikely political ascendance of President Abraham Lincoln, and how Lincoln’s story is relevant today. The event was in co-sponsorship with Cooper Union and held in their Great Hall – the site where Lincoln gave one of the most important speeches in US history.

Sidney Blumenthal is an acclaimed journalist and author of many books including A Self-Made Man, Wrestling with His Angel and All the Powers of Earth, the first three volumes in his five-volume biography series The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln that the New York Times book review has called “Magisterial…A vividly written, wide-ranging and often surprising account of the president-to-be.” He is the former assistant and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and senior adviser to Hillary Clinton. He has been a national staff reporter for The Washington Post and Washington editor and writer for The New Yorker. His books include the bestselling The Clinton Wars, The Rise of the Counter-Establishment, and The Permanent Campaign. He was the executive producer of the documentary Taxi to the Dark Side, directed by Alex Gibney, which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary of 2007.

John Avlon is senior political analyst and anchor at CNN. Previously, he was the editor-in-chief and managing director of The Daily Beast between 2013 and 2018, during which time the site’s traffic more than doubled to over one million readers a day while winning 17 journalism awards. He is the author of the books Independent Nation, Wingnuts, and Washington’s Farewell as well as co-editor of the acclaimed Deadline Artists journalism anthologies. Avlon served as chief speechwriter to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists award for best online column in 2012. He lives with his wife Margaret Hoover, the author of American Individualism, host of PBS’s Firing Line and a CNN contributor, and their two children in New York. He is now working on a book about Lincoln.

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