2023 History Book Festival: Keynote Address

Friday, September 29, 2023
7:00 – 8:00 pm
Historic District of Lewes

Please note: The Keynote Address is SOLD OUT. Signed copies of Steve Inskeep’s new book will be available while supplies last on Saturday, September 30 at the book sale table located at the Lewes Public Library.

On Friday, September 29, at 7 p.m. Eastern, the 2023 History Book Festival Keynote Address will feature Steve Inskeep, author of Differ We Must: How Lincoln Succeeded in a Divided America (Penguin Press, 2023). Inskeep will be in conversation with Christina Shutt.

The Keynote Address is funded through the generous support of Sally Mott Freeman and John K. Freeman.

About the book
In 1855, with the United States at odds over slavery, the lawyer Abraham Lincoln wrote a note to his best friend, the son of a Kentucky slave owner. Lincoln rebuked his friend for failing to oppose slavery. But he added, “If for this you and I must differ, differ we must,” and said they would be friends forever.

Throughout his life and political career, Lincoln often agreed to disagree. Democracy demanded it, since even an adversary had a vote. The man who went on to become America’s 16th president has assumed many roles in our historical consciousness, but most notable is that he was, unapologetically, a politician. And as Steve Inskeep argues, it was because he was willing to engage in politics — meeting with critics, sometimes working with them and other times outwitting them — that he was able to lead a social revolution.

In Differ We Must, Inskeep illuminates Lincoln’s life through 16 encounters, some well-known, some obscure, but all imbued with new significance in this account. Many of his greatest acts came about through his engagement with people who disagreed with him. This is a compelling and nuanced exploration of Abraham Lincoln’s political acumen, illuminating a great politician’s strategy in a country divided — and offering lessons for our own disorderly present.

Historic District of Lewes