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An ambitious ascent from a poor Illinois farm boy to occupying the highest political office during one of Americas most turbulent times makes for the literature of hero worship In the essay entitled Abraham Lincoln the self-made myth Rich Hofstadter challenges the reader to penetrate beneath the surface of the American political tradions and investigate the event and actions that contributed to the Lincoln Myth To begin with Hofstadter states that one of Lincolns most endearing qualisties to Americans was his humble origins and the fact that Lincoln was a preeminent example of that self-help which Americans have always so admired 121 But he further goes on to state that Lincoln used this to his advantage First in his campaign speeches always eluding to himself as humble Abraham Lincoln and in the way he addressed his own wife in public as mother 122 He received distinguished guests in shirtsleeves and once during his presidency hailed a soldier out of the ranks with the cry Bub Bub The concept of the self-made simple man played well with the American public thus became fully absorbed into his political being 124 Historical novels and fictionalized biographies about Lincoln would be amiss of the greater portion of its contents were not dedicated to the slavery issue Many only give a tiresome celebration of the America past with a progressive interpretation of American history of her-worship and national self-congratulation Forward 2 In Hostadters essay he discusses the slavery issue not with a sentimental approach but with critical analysis Lincoln was a Southerner by birth He grew up in communities in Illinois where slavery was rare Laws against runaway slaves were in force when Lincoln served in the state legislature It was here that Lincoln made his first public statement on slavery by voting against a proslavery resolution Lincoln went on record as saying The institution of slavery is founded on injustice and bad policy but that the promulgation of abolition
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