Lincoln in Peoria

Claremont Review of Books, Fall 2009.


A friendly critic has recently characterized my life’s work as dedicated to the moral vision of Athens, Jerusalem, and Peoria. Of course, as a faithful student of Leo Strauss, I recognized and welcomed the association with Athens and Jerusalem, but I had not hitherto thought of adding Peoria to the two Heavenly Cities. I have no doubt, however, that what Abraham Lincoln accomplished at Peoria, and because of Peoria, has been embellished by heavenly scribes on the gates of immortality. As we contemplate the 155th anniversary of the magnificent speech that catapulted an Illinois lawyer into national politics and helped change the course of a nation, we are indebted to Lewis Lehrman for focusing our attention on what the angels have always known.

Claremont Review of Books