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Award-winning author to speak at Marshall

Jan. 26, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The Amicus Curiae Lecture Series, sponsored by the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy at Marshall University, will resume on Tuesday, Feb. 4, when it welcomes Dr. Brian R. Dirck, award-winning author of several books about Abraham Lincoln, and Professor of History at Anderson University.

The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in the Marshall University Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center, and is free and open to the public. The series is supported by a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Dirck is the author of four well-regarded books about Lincoln: Lincoln and Davis: Imagining America, 1809-1865; Lincoln the Lawyer, which won the Benjamin Barondess Award from the New York Civil War Roundtable for the best book published on Lincoln in 2007; Lincoln and the Constitution; and Lincoln and White America. He also edited and contributed to a collection of essays entitled Lincoln Emancipated: The President and the Politics of Race.

Dirck's lecture, "Abraham Lincoln and Constitutional Optimism," will focus on the challenges Lincoln faced as he struggled to fight the Civil War within the boundaries created by the U.S. Constitution and how he found ways to use the Constitution as a source of power and inspiration, rather than difficulty and restriction. Dirck also will discuss Lincoln's behavior as providing lessons for the ways we view the Constitution and government power in our time.

"In the month in which we celebrate President Lincoln's birthday, it is fitting that we should focus on his struggles and accomplishments," said Patricia Proctor, director of the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy. "We are fortunate to have such a knowledgeable speaker to discuss the fascinating issue of Lincoln's relationship with the U.S. Constitution during the Civil War."

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