First and foremost, gratitude must go to the representatives of the Teachers’ Section of Poland’s Solidarity Union, whose visit to Governor Cuomo in Albany in July 1989 inspired this undertaking. Among the delegation was Wiktor Kulerski, who has since become a major official in Poland’s education ministry.
We express our thanks, too, to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), who arranged the Albany meeting and subsequently provided key support and sound advice to the project. Particularly we thank Albert Shanker and David Dorn of the AFT, and Thomas Hobart and Herb Magidson of NYSUT. Their plan eventually to adapt the contents of this book into syllabus materials and teaching guides for Polish students and instructors at all grade levels will help ensure that Lincoln’s writings will be more available and more understandable to readers in that country.
The Lincoln materials themselves were not chosen solely by the editors. They were nominated by a corps of forty-seven distinguished historians who volunteered to consider which among the more than one million known words of Lincoln deserved to be included in this first anthology of his writings on democracy. Their names and affiliations are listed elsewhere in this volume. Enough cannot be said to thank these generous scholars. Included among these honored and accomplished individuals are several Pulitzer Prize winners, a winner of the coveted Bancroft Prize, and the recipients of innumerable other awards and accolades. All were understandably preoccupied with projects of their own, yet all of them took the time to offer thoughtful, useful nominations for the book.
We thank in particular the seven distinguished scholars who not only pro- posed Lincoln materials but wrote introductions to the seven chronologically arranged sections that comprise the book: Gabor S. Boritt, William E. Gie- napp, Charles B. Strozier, Richard Nelson Current, James M. McPherson,