Interview: Rich Lowry on Lincoln Unbound


Rich Lowry, the editor of the biweekly print version of National Review magazine, dubs our 16th president "the foremost apostle of opportunity in American history" in our 24-minute long interview to discuss his new book, Lincoln Unbound: How an Ambitious Young Railsplitter Saved the American Dream -- and How We Can Do It Again, which is now available from and your local bookseller. As Lowry recently wrote at National Review: 

[Lincoln's] economics of dynamism and change and his gospel of discipline and self-improvement are particularly important to a country that has been stagnating economically and suffering from a social breakdown that is limiting economic mobility. No 19th-century figure can be an exact match for either of our contemporary competing political ideologies, but Lincoln the paladin of individual initiative, the worshiper of the Founding Fathers, and the advocate of self-control is more naturally a fellow traveler with today’s conservatives than with progressives.

In Lincoln Unbound, I make the positive case for Lincoln, but here I want to act as a counsel for the defense. The debate over Lincoln on the Right is so important because it can be seen, in part, as a proxy for the larger argument over whether conservatism should read itself out of the American mainstream or — in this hour of its discontent — dedicate itself to a Lincolnian program of opportunity and uplift consistent with its limited-government principles. A conservatism that rejects Lincoln is a conservatism that wants to confine itself to an irritable irrelevance to 21st-century America and neglect what should be the great project of reviving it as a country of aspiration.

During our interview, Rich will discuss:

● How politicians "Get right with Lincoln," and why in 2008, it was the left that seemed more comfortable with Lincoln than many on the right.

● What did William F. Buckley think of Lincoln?

● In modern terms, what was Lincoln's political worldview?

● Lincoln and the Civil War.

● What would Lincoln think about today's Tea Party and Barack Obama's myriad scandals?

● And what made Howard Dean attack Lowry personally late last month?

And much more. Click here to listen:

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Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.