The Lincoln-Douglas Debates is a topic often written about and discussed, certainly in this blog, and certainly among teachers, historians, and political scientists. The Debates are always relevant in telling the story of the nation, especially of those steps into civil war. This year in particular, much has been said about the Debates, whether by students of the Debates or by politicians wishing to replicate them for a modern election. Allen Guelzo, Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College, recently published a new book exploring the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. According to a Gettysburg College News Detail on the event of an interview given by Guelzo, the book “…dramatizes and underscores the historical significance of the 1858 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Illinois….” Professor Guelzo gave two recent interviews regarding the debates and his book, one with Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, and another with WHYY, an NPR affiliate serving southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and southern New Jersey.
Guelzo’s Daily Show interview is perhaps one of the more serious conducted on the show, and serves to give basic context for the debates, while advertising the book.
The WHYY interview provides much more context for the debates, and proves a good resource for introduction to the debates, or good context for wide discussion about antebellum politics and the events leading up to civil war.