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Lincoln, the Constitution and the Civil War Exhibit: Guest Lecture

Guest Lecture

Dr. Charles B. Strozier
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Lavery Library Keating Room

Guest Lecturer, Wednesday, February 11, 7pm

Charles B. Strozier is a Professor of History at The City University of New York and a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City.  His forthcoming book from Columbia University Press is Young Man Lincoln: Joshua Speed and the Crucible of Greatness.  He is the author or editor of 12 other books, including Lincoln’s Quest for Union:  A Psychological Portrait, Basic Books, 1982, revised edition in paper from Paul Dry Books, 2001. 

Talk Description

Young Man Lincoln: Joshua Speed and the Crucible of Greatness, 1837-1842.

The period from Lincoln’s arrival in Springfield in 1837 at 28 until to his marriage in 1842 was a transformative moment in the making of Abraham Lincoln.  It was a time of crisis for him, bracketed by the only two suicidal depressions.  Lincoln could easily have fallen into a lifetime of despair in which his talents would never have been realized, or committed suicide.  Instead, and primarily through his friendship with Joshua Speed, Lincoln vicariously resolved his uncertainties about love and intimacy and found a way to consolidate his identity.  Lincoln established a cohesive self in these years that would never again risk clinical depression.  After the early 1840s, he broke free to imagine a new future for himself and eventually, in the fires of war, foster what he called at Gettysburg “a new birth of freedom” for the country.  Others have told that later story well.  My task is the making of Lincoln.  It is one of the more interesting personal stories of a young great man finding himself.

Dr. Strozier's Biography

Charles B. Strozier has a Harvard B.A., an M.A. and a PhD from the University of Chicago, and has training as a research candidate at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis and clinical psychoanalytic training at TRISP in New York City.  He is a Professor of History and the founding Director of the Center on Terrorism, John Jay College, City University of New York, and a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City. 

Some of Dr. Strozier's publications include:

  • Until The Fires Stopped Burning: 9/11 and New York City in the Words and Experiences of Survivors and Witnesses (nominated for a Pulitzer Prize). Columbia University Press, August of 2011
  •  The Fundamentalist Mindset: Psychological Perspectives on Religion, Violence, and History (Oxford, 2010). Lead author and editor, along with Terman, Jones, and Boyd,
  • Lincoln’s Quest for Union:  A Psychological Portrait, Basic Books, 1982, revised edition in paper from Paul Dry Books, 2001. Prize-winning psychological study of Abraham Lincoln
  • Heinz Kohut:  The Making of a Psychoanalyst (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001). Winner of the Gradiva Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, the Goethe Prize from the Canadian Psychoanalytic Association, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. 
  • Apocalypse:  On the Psychology of Fundamentalism in America (Beacon Press, 1994, new edition 2002)
  • Trauma and Self (1996), Genocide, War, and Human Survival (1996), and The Year 2000 (1997). Edited, with Michael Flynn
  • The Psychohistory Review, founding editor (until 1986) of and has published scores of articles and book chapters on aspects of history and psychoanalysis.
  • Young Man Lincoln: Joshua Speed and the Crucible of Greatness. Soon to be published by Columbia University Press in 2016:

Exhibit Sponsors

The exhibit was organized by the National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The traveling exhibition has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Lincoln: the Constitution and the Civil War is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.