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Civil War Round Table of Kansas City
Harold Holzer Bio

Harold Holzer is one of the country's leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era. A prolific writer and lecturer, and frequent guest on television, Holzer serves as chairman of The Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, successor organization to the U. S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC), to which he was appointed by President Clinton in 2000, and co-chaired from 2001–2010. President Bush, in turn, awarded Holzer the National Humanities Medal in 2008. And in 2013, he wrote an essay on Lincoln for the official program at the re-inauguration of President Barack Obama. He is serving currently as the first Roger Hertog Fellow at The New-York Historical Society.

In 2015, the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City named Harold Holzer the recipient of its Harry S. Truman award. The Harry S. Truman Award was established in 1959. Noted Civil War historian Bruce Catton was the first recipient of this award. Criteria considered in the selection process includes:

  1. Making a significant contribution to the dissemination and preservation of Civil War military history.
  2. Being a distinguished scholar and author of Civil War military history.
  3. Promoting and/or organizing an important project related to the knowledge and understanding of Civil War military history.
  4. Participating in the selection, development, or preservation of historic Civil War military sites.

Lane Smith presents Harold Holzer with the 2015 Harry S. Truman Award

Harold Holzer had aulthored, co-authored and edited numerous books. His latest major book, Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion , won the 2015 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize. Other recent titles include President Lincoln Assassinated!!, a Library of America Anthology of public and private responses to Lincoln's death, Exploring Lincoln, and a new edited collection of scholarly essays by leading historians. Holzer has also issued the 2014 book The Civil War in 50 Objects , written for The New-York Historical Society. His other recent volumes include 1863: Lincoln's Pivotal Year, co-edited with Sara Gabbard; Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America, the official young adult companion book to the Steven Spielberg film; and Emancipating Lincoln: The Emancipation Proclamation In Text, Context, and Memory (Harvard University Press), which Henry Louis Gates Jr. called an “essential guide to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.” In 2013 Holzer was one of 10 historians invited by the U. S. Senate to contribute essays (his on the Emancipation Proclamation) to the official portfolio for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama.

The Library Journal “highly recommended” his 2008 book, Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860-1861  and Doris Kearns Goodwin called it a "stunningly original work that casts completely new light on the most turbulent and critical presidential transition in American history." His book Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President (Simon & Schuster Lincoln Library) , won a second-place 2005 Lincoln Prize, the most prestigious award in the field.

Harold Holzer has appeared often on C-SPAN, including Washington Journal and Q&A as well as on the 2008 special series, The White House and on C-SPAN3 (American History TV) and several C-SPAN specials devoted to The Civil War Sesquicentennial (2010–2015). He also appeared on the 2005 History Channel special Lincoln; on that network's History Center series, on American Heritage Presents the Lincoln Assassination (1995), and the specials Assassins: John Wilkes Booth and Investigating History: Lincoln-Man vs. Myth. He has appeared on The Today Show, The Charlie Rose Show, The Lou Dobbs Show, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, CBS Sunday Morning, Bloomberg News, and the CBS Evening News. He appeared on the C-SPAN American Writers special on Abraham Lincoln, and was also seen on C-SPAN in broadcasts of his stage presentations Lincoln Seen and Heard with Sam Waterston and Grant Seen and Heard with Richard Dreyfuss. Holzer's appearance on C-SPAN's Booknotes series inspired the 1994 C-SPAN recreations of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in Illinois, for which Holzer served as historical consultant and on-air commentator. C-SPAN also broadcast the 2004 on-site re-creation of The Cooper Union address, featuring Holzer and Waterston, and in February 2005 a special Lincoln's Birthday-eve performance of Lincoln Seen and Heard live from the White House, hosted by President and Mrs. George W. Bush. He also twice appeared on the award-winning PBS discussion show Open Mind and on C-SPAN in the performance piece The Lincoln Family Album starring Liam Neeson and Holly Hunter, broadcast from the Library of Congress in Washington. He appeared to introduce the C-SPAN broadcast of a Cooper Union dialogue In the Lincoln Tradition. His most recent program, "The Real Lincoln-Douglass Debates," featuring actors Stephen Long and Norm Lewis, was performed twice at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and aired on C-SPAN. His "Lincoln's Shakespeare," featuring such actors as Mr. Lang, Sam Waterston, John Douglas Thompson, Kathleen Chalfont, Fritz Weaver, and Chris Noth, has been performed at several venues, including the Berkshire Playhouse.

For more info, please visit Harold Holzer's website.

Civil War Round Table of Kansas City
P.O. Box 6202
Shawnee Mission, KS 66206

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