Following Lincoln as He Followed Douglas Introduces the Lincoln-Douglas Debates

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In her new book, Following Lincoln as He Followed Douglas, author Georgiann Baldino shows why Abraham Lincoln's failed bid to become the U.S. Senator from Illinois has enduring importance.

In her new book, Following Lincoln as He Followed Douglas, author Georgiann Baldino shows why Abraham Lincoln's failed bid to become the U.S. Senator from Illinois has enduring importance.

In 1858 few people outside of Illinois knew who Lincoln was, while Stephen A. Douglas was one of the nation's most powerful politicians. Lincoln left his successful law practice and entered the race to oppose Douglas over the expansion of slavery. Lincoln began his campaign by following Douglas around and taking advantage of the crowds who came to hear the great Douglas of the Senate. After Douglas agreed to seven debates, the candidates wrangled for 21 hours, hoping to gain support for differing views of America's future. Their oratory shook political and social foundations all across the country. Baldino's book recreates the dramatic campaign, which became the catalyst for Lincoln's political career.

Vickie Cleverley Speek, historian and author of "God Has Made Us a Kingdom" James Strang and the Midwest Mormons (Signature Books, 2006) says Following Lincoln as He Followed Douglas is "a must for the amateur historian struggling to understand the significance of the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates. Baldino draws the reader into the narrative while giving an excellent accounting of why the debates were important and still are pertinent today."

Illinois and the nation will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas debates later this year. Communities where the 1858 debates took place plan a series of events called "Reunion Tour 2008." Public celebrations are scheduled for: August 22-24 in Ottawa; August 29-31, Freeport; September 12-14, Jonesboro; September 19-21, Charleston; October 3-5, Galesburg; October 11-13, Quincy; and October 17-19 in Alton. Author Georgiann Baldino provides background for the people who plan to visit the sites and a valuable resource for those unable to travel.

Following Lincoln as He Followed Douglas is Baldino's fourth book. The retail price is $11.95 for the trade paperback, ISBN 978-1-4357-0385-8. Baldino is also a speaker and facilitator offering educational presentations. Her newest program retraces the Lincoln-Douglas debates and is suitable for audiences from middle-grade children to adult.

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GEORGIANN BALDINO
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