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Abraham Lincoln famously characterized American democracy as "the last, best hope of earth." For generations of Jewish and other immigrants who have faced discrimination and oppression in their countries of origin, American democracy has indeed held out a hopeful beacon of religious freedom and equality for all citizens.
This essay by Harold Holzer was originally presented as a lecture at the Skirball Cultural Center on January 23, 2000, inspired by the Skirball's core exhibition Visions and Values: Jewish Life from Antiquity to America," which includes a section on Abraham Lincoln. Holzer's essay explores the pivotal contributions of Lincoln and his Administration to American Jewish life around the time of the Civil War, shedding light on an often overlooked aspect of this great President's legacy.
Paperback, 20 pages. Published by the Skirball Cultural Center, 2002.
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