Matthew Pinsker serves as the principal writer and curator for the “Lincoln and War Powers” online exhibition. His work on this project has been made possible by generous institutional support from the Strategic Studies Institute at the US Army War College, Dickinson College and the New America Foundation.
This exhibition is part of Lincoln’s Writings: The Multi-Media Edition, a website created for the “Understanding Lincoln” online graduate course (2013, 2014, 2016) which is co-produced by the House Divided Project at Dickinson College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
Dr. Jeffrey McCausland from the Strategic Studies Institute and Dickinson College assisted in organizing and moderating a series of expert panels on “Presidents at War” in June and July 2014 that have been essential in providing content and context to this exhibition. Special thanks to the panelists: John Altenburg, Sidney Blumenthal, Conrad Crane, Kimberly Dozier, Paul Eaton, Louis Fisher, Linda Mason, and Thom Shanker. A brief profile of each panelist is available here.
An exchange during an earlier panel, however, for the “Understanding Lincoln” course helped inspire this exhibition (and is now featured in the Chronology of Powers pathway). Panelists Michael Lind, Richard Norton Smith, James Swanson, and Craig Symonds engaged in a fascinating back-and-forth over war powers during a 2013 C-SPAN televised debate on the provocative topic of “What Would Lincoln Do?” which served as a forum for exploring how Lincoln’s legacy has been used and abused by modern-day politicians. A brief profile of each panelist from the 2013 session is available here.
Excerpts from Matthew Pinsker’s previous writings on war powers have also been adapted for elements of this exhibition, including: “The Limits of Presidential War Powers,” ABA Insights magazine (Winter 2009);“Would Abe Lincoln Be Into Drones?” Zocalo Public Square (5/6/13); “Abraham Lincoln and the Obligations of International Law,” SSI Articles (6/13/13); and “Obama Fails Lincoln Lesson on Syria,” USA Today, 11/11/13.
Several K-12 educators who have participated in the “Understanding Lincoln” online graduate course have also had their work or insights featured within this exhibition, including Mary Beth Donnelly, Richard Ochoa, Evan Oftedal, Tammie Senders, Cynthia Smith, and Michael VanWambeke.