American Crisis
American Crisis
American Crisis Ep. 9: Steve Inskeep on how Lincoln dealt with a deeply divided nation
American Crisis Ep. 9: Steve Inskeep on how Lincoln dealt with a deeply divided nation
Author of a new Lincoln book, the longtime NPR host puts our moment into historical perspective

Of all the people I’ve interviewed for American Crisis — Carl Bernstein, Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Molly Jong-Fast and others — Steve Inskeep is probably the least alarmed about this moment in American history. He’s far less alarmed than I am, in fact.

He brings to bear on this question his many years as a journalist, including covering the Pentagon, George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign, and the U.S. Senate. He’s been the host of Weekend All Things Considered and Morning Edition. A student of American history and a native of Indiana, he has written four books, the most recent of which will be published in about two weeks — “Differ We Must: How Lincoln Succeeded in a Divided America.”

Longtime NPR host Steve Inskeep’s new book about Abraham Lincoln gives him hope for our current moment in America / Getty

As you’ll hear on Episode 9, the longtime Morning Edition host takes the long view, informed not only by his own reporting but by his deep interest in the Civil War era. He’s also a believer in trying to understand the points of view of those with whom we disagree; we may not come to a meeting of the minds, he realizes, but at least we’ll truly get what others are trying to say.

Lincoln is depicted preparing to give his Gettysburg Address in 1863 / Getty Images

Let me know in the comments below whether you think Inskeep is on target, and whether we in 2023 have something to learn from Lincoln’s wily approach to dealing with his critics and adversaries.

American Crisis is a community-supported project where I explore how journalism can help save democracy. I’ll be donating any net proceeds to two wonderful journalism organizations for the first month, so please consider joining us.

Speaking of Lincoln, I want to let you know that I’ll be doing a live conversation with fellow Substacker Steve Schmidt, the corporate and political strategist who co-founded the anti-Trump super-PAC known as the Lincoln Project. We’ll no doubt be discussing media coverage of the presidential campaign and a bunch of other things. You can register for the event (which is available only to paid subscribers to Steve’s The Warning newsletter) here:

The Warning with Steve Schmidt
Exclusive Invitation: A Conversation with Margaret Sullivan & Steve Schmidt
Please join me for a conversation with my special guest and fellow Substacker Margaret Sullivan on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, from 8 - 9 pm EST. Margaret is a pro-democracy media critic whose podcast is “American Crisis: Can Journalism Save Democracy…
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Next up on my American Crisis podcast — free to all my subscribers — is historian Garrett Graff, who wrote the excellent book, published last year, “Watergate: A New History.” I’m a big fan of Garrett’s commentary and an admirer of his knowledge, so I’m really looking forward to this one. Please look for it in two weeks.

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