Abraham Lincoln without Borders: Lincoln's Legacy outside the United States

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Abraham Lincoln Without Borders: Lincoln's Legacy Outside the United States. Edited by Jyotirmaya Tripathy, Sura P. Rath, and William D. Pederson. (Delhi: Pencraft International, 2010. Pp. 220. $18.00, ISBN 978-81-909416-6-2.)

In December 2009, the bicentennial year of his birth, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in Chennai, India, hosted an international symposium on Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln Without Borders: Lincoln's Legacy Outside the United States presents sixteen essays from the conference, loosely organized around the theme of Lincoln's legacy in selected countries beyond the United States, particularly India. The contributing authors, eleven from India or Bangladesh and six from the United States, include four graduate students, three of whom were affiliated with the International Lincoln Center at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Academic specialties of the authors are English, history, philosophy, political science, and sociology.

Grouped into three thematic parts, "India in Context," "Lincoln and Gandhi," and "Lincoln Outside India," the essays range from scholarly analyses incorporating sources drawn from both Indian and Western primary and secondary works (seen especially in the essays in Parts 1 and 2) to interesting but considerably more superficial perspectives with limited or no inclusion of scholarship from the country being presented (most of the essays in Part 3).

This study is valuable as much for the questions it raises as for its contribution to the field of Lincoln studies in a global context. For example, how might specialists with expertise on Asia and knowledge of Asian languages differ in their interpretations of historical figures and events from those given in the introductory overviews on Lincoln in China, Japan, India, and South Korea or in the analysis of Lincoln's legacy in southern Asia outside India? …