Monday, October 27, 2014

Lincoln manipulated the press ... masterfully

There's a new book on Abraham Lincoln that shows how, from his earliest days in public life to the bitterest days of the civil war, he seduced and used the newspaper reporters and editors of his day with great success.  Garry Wills has a fine review in the New York Review of Books.

Lincoln had an easier time than modern presidents, since there were few in the media, which itself consisted only of a few influential newspapers, and they were easily influenced by the carrots and sticks of a president. But that he did it so often and so well may help us to see Lincoln not as sitting for a marble statue but as a wily politician who succeeded precisely because of his political skills.

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