Harrogate, Tennessee, March 23, 2018—The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (ALLM) has named author and historian Dr. Jason Silverman as the new book review editor of the “Lincoln Herald.”
The ALLM's “Lincoln Herald” is the oldest continually published scholarly journal devoted to the study of Lincoln and his era. It features original research, book reviews, historical commentary and updates on Lincolniana in news and popular culture.
"The ‘Herald’ has provided a forum for the advancement of Lincoln research for decades,” said ALLM Director Michael Lynch. “It's one of the most important ways the Museum engages the scholarly community, and we are delighted that Dr. Silverman is going to be associated with it."
Silverman is the author of “Lincoln and the Immigrant” and was the guest speaker of the inaugural Lincoln Lecture held Feb. 16, 2018, hosted by the ALLM. Silverman has traveled the country speaking about his research on this timely topic with lectures aimed at general audiences and history fans, not just experts.
“I want people to be absolutely entertained and convinced that their time was well spent,” he said. “What was surprising to me was Lincoln’s exposure to immigrants and his consideration of them. What is fascinating is that long before slavery he talked about immigration and labor. His economic philosophy centered around immigration.”
Silverman received his undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia (UVA) and his graduate degrees at Colorado State University (CSU) and the University of Kentucky (UK). His teaching awards include Winthrop's Outstanding Junior Professor Award, Winthrop University's Distinguished Professor, the Pi Kappa Phi Excellence in Teaching Award three times and, in 1990, he became the first person in Winthrop's history to be named South Carolina Professor of the Year.
A Virginia native, Silverman’s first claim to fame — or near fame rather — was being captain of T.C. Williams High School football team in 1970. The very next year, after a consolidation, the team won the Virginia AAA state championship and eventually became the subject of the 2000 movie “Remember the Titans” starring Denzel Washington. However, by 1971, Silverman was at UVA playing football and discovering his love for history. Lincoln and the Civil War intrigued him, and his interest in that era continued throughout his career.
Silverman recently retired as the Ellison Capers Palmer, Jr. Professor of History at Winthrop University. His first faculty position was at Yale University where he spent four years. Silverman appreciated the opportunity to teach at Yale, but he knew it was not where he wanted to stay long term. In 1984, he traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, to interview at Winthrop. He fell in love the moment he got to campus. For the next 33 years, he spent his days enriching the minds of young people and trying to connect with them on a personal level. On his own since age 17, Silverman sought to be a friend and mentor to each of his students, especially those who needed it the most.
“The older I get, the more I think things happen for a reason,” Silverman said. “The life experiences I had shaped me and made me the kind of person who understood loneliness.”
Silverman aspires to emulate the integrity and principles that Lincoln embodies and for years, he has carried in his pocket three unique coins, his talismans. The 1918 half dollar, 1860 campaign token and 2016 British Virgin Islands $10 coin, all adorned with Lincoln’s image, serve as reminders to Silverman to always ask himself “What Would Lincoln Do?”
“He’s never the same person twice on issues, but he’s always honest and compassionate,” Silverman said. “I can study him ten lifetimes and never figure him out. He is a complicated human being.”
Silverman is the author or editor of 11 books, several of which were nominated for national book awards. “Lincoln and the Immigrant” is a volume in the Concise Lincoln Library series published by Southern Illinois University Press that was awarded The Immigrants’ Civil War Award by Hofstra University’s Long Island Wins, a nonprofit communications organization that focuses on immigration issues on Long Island and beyond. Of the 16,500, and counting, volumes published on Abraham Lincoln, Silverman’s is the first full-length study of its kind. This volume inspired “American By Belief,” a museum exhibit at President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldier's Home in Washington, D.C.
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at admissions@LMUnet.edu.