Debating DiLorenzo: On Cultism as a Career

In the exchange that follows, Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo explains to Brian Lamb what he believes motivates members of what he defines as a Lincoln “cult”:

LAMB: What do you think is driving most of the, and there depending on what trigger you use – Andrew Ferguson wrote about you in his book ”Land of Lincoln” where he said, ”There are some 14,000 books written about Abraham Lincoln” …

DILORENZO: Yes.

LAMB: What’s the motivation? And how much of it is making money?

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Debating DiLorenzo: A Lincoln Above Criticism?

To date I’ve discussed several statements made by Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo in a 2008 interview with Brian Lamb on C-SPAN.  To me, one of the most interesting characteristics of the interview is that both Lamb and DiLorenzo strayed often from the subject of DiLorenzo on Lincoln and entered the world of DiLorenzo and Lincoln scholarship.  Dr. DiLorenzo doesn’t think too much of most Lincoln scholars: he even denies that they are real scholars, with the exception of the late David Herbert Donald.  Sometimes he names names, sometimes he does not.

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Debating DiLorenzo: Lincoln and Emancipation

In this excerpt from a 2008 interview with Brian Lamb, Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo addresses Lincoln and emancipation:

LAMB: Did Lincoln free the slaves?

DILORENZO: Well, the 13th amendment freed the slaves, to be sure. Lincoln late in his term did support the 13th amendment. And so when the states ratified the 13th amendment, that’s what freed the slaves. Continue reading

Debating DiLorenzo: Worshipping Lincoln and American Exceptionalism

In a 2008 interview with C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb, Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo had this to say about why people worship Lincoln:

LAMB: Why, from your perspective, do you think that people are deifying him unnecessarily?

DILORENZO: Well, there’s sort of an interesting history of that. After the war, after Lincoln was assassinated, the New England clergy began with the deification. I have in my files, in my research files, an old magazine article that has a picture of Abe Lincoln with angel’s wings ascending into the sky in an open tomb at the bottom of the picture and this was the sort of thing that went on in the immediate years after the Civil War. Continue reading

Debating DiLorenzo: Peaceful Abolition?

In Debating DiLorenzo, let’s first look at what he says about peaceable abolition and the Union as a voluntary association.

DILORENZO: And, I guess, one of the things that really bothered me when I started looking into this was when I found out that all of the other countries of the world that ended slavery in the 19th century did it peacefully, and that included New England and Ohio and Pennsylvania and Indiana, the northern United States. And as an economist, I started thinking, well why was this not an alternative for America? Why was it only in America where there was a war attached to the ending of slavery? Continue reading

Debating DiLorenzo: A Series

I’ve pondered various ways of offering a constructive and creative way of dealing with some of the comments presented here and elsewhere about the work of Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo.  I took another look at his C-SPAN interview with Brian Lamb, for which there is a transcript.  It occurred to me that one could cut the biographical information and extraneous chatter and use the rest to present several of DiLorenzo’s contentions and then comment on them.  As you have the transcript available, you will be able to see that I’m not trying to distort what he says (indeed, it’s in my interest to have him speak for himself).  So, over the next several days, I’ll offer portions of that transcript, along with my observations.