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I don't know, but it's an indisputable fact that Glory--one of the most important reassessments of Lincoln, or any other white figure of similar stature, by a black author--is not getting the kind of attention that nonfiction works by white authors have received. That's not because the book lacks merit. As University of Florida historian W. Fitzhugh Brundage wrote in the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, it contains the "most systematic, best-researched and compelling critique of Lincoln's [beliefs about race] that I know of." The only major newspaper to review the book so far, the Los Angeles Times, printed a nuanced critique by noted Columbia University historian Eric Foner in early April. While Foner blasted Glory for being repetitious, argumentative and unconvincing to "readers who do not already believe that Lincoln was an inveterate racist," he also praised Bennett's thoroughly documented charge that white scholars have "consistently soft-pedaled" Lincoln's obnoxious racial attitudes.
So why isn't the book being noticed? Is it because Bennett's belief that "Lincoln must be seen as the embodiment, not the transcendence, of the American tradition of racism" is a message some people don't want to hear? "We need to confront slavery and apologize for it to put it behind us," Bennett contends. "Everywhere we look today, Civil War issues are exploding--in South Carolina and Mississippi with the Confederate flag, with the renewed call for reparations for slavery. We've not dealt with those issues yet and we're not going to be free until we do." One small way to speed up the process might be to stop ignoring Bennett's discomfiting book.