When participants in this year’s Sigma Tau Delta Book Club read and discussed Professor Robert Bray‘s latest book, Reading with Lincoln, they knew it was a good read crammed full of facts and insights into the books that shaped Abraham Lincoln’s life and decision-making. What they didn’t know was that it would soon be named winner of the 2010-11 Russell P. Strange Memorial Book Award from the Illinois State Historical Society, awarded to the best book that’s related, either intimately or tenuously, to Illinois history and culture. Bob just got the news, and we congratulate him! Reading with Lincoln was also a finalist for the 2011 Lincoln Prize, which produced a field so strong this year that the jury decided to award all of the finalists Honorable Mention, ”an occurrence that has rarely happened.”
From the dust jacket: ”Through extensive reading and reflection, Abraham Lincoln fashioned a mind as powerfully intellectual and superlatively communicative as that of any other American political leader. Reading with Lincoln uncovers the how of Lincoln’s inspiring rise to greatness by connecting the content of his reading to the story of his life.
“At the core of Lincoln’s success was his self-education, centered on his love of and appreciation for learning through books. From his early studies of grammar school handbooks and children’s classics to his interest in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the Bible during his White House years, what Lincoln read helped to define who he was as a person and as a politician. This unique study delves into the books, pamphlets, poetry, plays, and essays that influenced Lincoln’s thoughts and actions.”