Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Harold Holzer  

Pen Name: None

Genre: History Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult; Young Adult;

Born: 1949


-- Website -- http://www.haroldholzer.com
-- Harold Holzer on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=harold+holzer


Illinois Connection

The Author was co-chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission from 2001 to 2010 and has written extensively about an Illinois subject of interest - Abraham Lincoln.

Biographical and Professional Information

A prolific writer, Mr. Holzer has written and edited over 37 books and numerous artlicles about various aspects on the life and presidency of Abraham Lincoln. He has also appeared frequently on television. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Award For Superior Achievement from the Illinois State Historical Society in 1993, The Lincoln Prize for his book about Lincoln's Cooper Union Speech in 2005, and the National Humanities Medal from President Bush and the National Endowement for the Humanities in 2008 to name a few.Currently he serves as Senior Vice President for External Affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where he is responsible for marketing, communications, government relations, internal communications, admissions, visitor services, and multicultural audience development at the nation's largest art institution.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

The New York Times: Complete Civil War, 1861-1865 (Book & CD)
ISBN: 1579128459

Black Dog & Leventhal. 2010

The Civil War as you've never experienced it before, through original, first-hand reportage of The New York Times, the country's newspaper of record. Available for the first time in a unique book/DVD package

The New York Times
, established in 1851, was one of the few newspapers with correspondents on the front lines throughout the Civil War. The Complete Civil War collects every article written about the war from 1861 to 1865, plus select pieces before and after the war and is filled with the action, politics, and personal stories of this monumental event. From the first shot fired at Fort Sumter to the surrender at Appomattox, and from the Battle of Antietam to the Battle of Atlanta, as well as articles on slavery, states rights, the role of women, and profiles of noted heroes such as Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, the era comes alive through these daily first-hand accounts.

? More than 600 of the most crucial and interesting articles in the book?typeset and designed for easy reading
? Commentary by Editors and Civil War scholars Harold Holzer and Craig Symonds
? More than 104,000 additional articles on the DVD-ROM? every article the Times published during the war.
? A detailed chronology highlights articles and events of interest that can be found on the disk.

Strikingly designed and illustrated with hundreds of maps, historical photographs, and engravings, this book is a treasure for Civil War and history buffs everywhere.

"This is a fascinating and riveting look at the most important event in American history as seen through the eyes of an institution that was emerging as the most important newspaper in American history. In these pages, the Civil War seems new and fresh, unfolding day after anxious day, as the fate of the republic hangs in the balance." Ken Burns

"Serious historians and casual readers alike will find this extraordinary collection of 600 articles and editorials about the Civil War published in The New York Times before and during the war of great value and interest...enough to keep the most assiduous student busy for the next four years of the war's sesquicentennial observations." James McPherson

"This fascinating work catapults readers back in time, allowing us to live through the Civil War as daily readers of The New York Times, worrying about the outcome of battles, wondering about our generals, debating what to do about slavery, hearing the words that Lincoln spoke, feeling passionate about our politics. Symonds and Holzer have found an ingenious new way to experience the most dramatic event in our nation's history."
Doris Kearns Goodwin

"Harold Holzer and Craig Symonds have included not only every pertinent article from the pages of The Times, but enhanced and illuminated them with editorial commentary that adds context and perspective, making the articles more informative and useful here than they were in the original issues. Nowhere else can readers of today get such an understanding of how readers of 1861-1865 learned of and understood their war."
William C Davis

The DVD runs on Windows 2000/XP or Mac OS X 10.3 or later.



Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860-1861
ISBN: 074328948X

Simon & Schuster. 2009

One of our most eminent Lincoln scholars, winner of a Lincoln Prize for his Lincoln at Cooper Union, examines the four months between Lincoln's election and inauguration, when the president-elect made the most important decision of his coming presidency -- there would be no compromise on slavery or secession of the slaveholding states, even at the cost of civil war.

Abraham Lincoln first demonstrated his determination and leadership in the Great Secession Winter -- the four months between his election in November 1860 and his inauguration in March 1861 -- when he rejected compromises urged on him by Republicans and Democrats, Northerners and Southerners, that might have preserved the Union a little longer but would have enshrined slavery for generations. Though Lincoln has been criticized by many historians for failing to appreciate the severity of the secession crisis that greeted his victory, Harold Holzer shows that the presidentelect waged a shrewd and complex campaign to prevent the expansion of slavery while vainly trying to limit secession to a few Deep South states.

During this most dangerous White House transition in American history, the country had two presidents: one powerless (the president-elect, possessing no constitutional authority), the other paralyzed (the incumbent who refused to act). Through limited, brilliantly timed and crafted public statements, determined private letters, tough political pressure, and personal persuasion, Lincoln guaranteed the integrity of the American political process of majority rule, sounded the death knell of slavery, and transformed not only his own image but that of the presidency, even while making inevitable the war that would be necessary to make these achievements permanent.

Lincoln President-Elect is the first book to concentrate on Lincoln's public stance and private agony during these months and on the momentous consequences when he first demonstrated his determination and leadership. Holzer recasts Lincoln from an isolated prairie politician yet to establish his greatness, to a skillful shaper of men and opinion and an immovable friend of freedom at a decisive moment when allegiance to the founding credo "all men are created equal" might well have been sacrificed.

Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President (Simon & Schuster Lincoln Library)
ISBN: 0743299647

Simon & Schuster. 2006

Winner of the Lincoln Prize

Lincoln at Cooper Union explores Lincoln's most influential and widely reported pre-presidential address -- an extraordinary appeal by the western politician to the eastern elite that propelled him toward the Republican nomination for president. Delivered in New York in February 1860, the Cooper Union speech dispelled doubts about Lincoln's suitability for the presidency and reassured conservatives of his moderation while reaffirming his opposition to slavery to Republican progressives.

Award-winning Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer places Lincoln and his speech in the context of the times -- an era of racism, politicized journalism, and public oratory as entertainment -- and shows how the candidate framed the speech as an opportunity to continue his famous "debates" with his archrival Democrat Stephen A. Douglas on the question of slavery.

Holzer describes the enormous risk Lincoln took by appearing in New York, where he exposed himself to the country's most critical audience and took on Republican Senator William Henry Seward of New York, the front runner, in his own backyard. Then he recounts a brilliant and innovative public relations campaign, as Lincoln took the speech "on the road" in his successful quest for the presidency.

The Lincoln Assassination: Crime and Punishment, Myth and Memory A Lincoln Forum Book (The North's Civil War)
ISBN: 0823232263

Fordham University Press. 2010

The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln remains one of the most prominent events in U.S. history. It continues to attract enormous and intense interest from scholars, writers, and armchair historians alike, ranging from painstaking new research to wild-eyed speculation. At the end of the Lincoln bicentennial year, and the onset of the Civil War sesquicentennial, the leading scholars of Lincoln and his murder offer in one volume their latest studies and arguments about the assassination, its aftermath, the extraordinary public reaction (which was more complex than has been previously believed), and the iconography that Lincoln’s murder and deification inspired. Contributors also offer the most up-to-date accounts of the parallel legal event of the summer of 1865―the relentless pursuit, prosecution, and punishment of the conspirators. Everything from graphic tributes to religious sermons, to spontaneous outburst