Allen C. Guelzo
Allen Carl Guelzo
Guelzo in January 2013
|Born||1953 (age 65–66)|
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania, Cairn University|
|Occupation||Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era|
|Children||2 daughters, 1 son|
Allen Carl Guelzo (born 1953) is an American historian who serves as the Henry R. Luce III Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College, where he serves as Director of the Civil War Era Studies Program.
Rachel A. Shelden says that for two decades Guelzo "has been at the forefront of Civil War–era scholarship. In particular, he has focused his analytical efforts on the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln, publishing books covering the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the origins of the Emancipation Proclamation, and Lincoln's presidential leadership, among others."
Early life and education
Guelzo was born in Yokohama, Japan, the son of a U.S. Army soldier who had been there as part of the Allies' occupation of Japan. He grew up in Pennsylvania. His earliest degrees were a BS in Biblical Studies from Cairn University and a MDiv from Reformed Episcopal Seminary, where he later taught Church History. He earned an MA and PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the History department of Eastern University (St. Davids, Pennsylvania) in 1991. He was the Grace F. Kea Professor of American History at Eastern, where he was also Moderator of the Faculty Senate (1996–98). From 1998 to 2004, he served as Dean of the Templeton Honors College at Eastern. He joined the History department at Gettysburg College in 2004.
Guelzo's principal specialty is American intellectual history, from 1750 to 1865. His doctoral dissertation, "The Unanswered Question: Jonathan Edwards's 'Freedom of the Will' in Early American Religious Philosophy", was published in 1989 as Edwards On the Will: A Century of American Philosophical Debate, 1750–1850, by Wesleyan University Press, and won an American Library Association Choice Award. In 1995, he contributed a volume in the St. Martin's Press American History textbook series, The Crisis of the American Republic: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
One of Guelzo's early works, For the Union of Evangelical Christendom: The Irony of the Reformed Episcopalians, 1873–1930, won the Albert C. Outler Prize in Ecumenical Church History from the American Society of Church History in 1993. He began work in 1996 on an 'intellectual biography' of Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (1999), which won the Lincoln Prize for 2000 and the 2000 Book Prize of the Abraham Lincoln Institute. He followed this with Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (2004), which became the first two-time winner of the Lincoln Prize (for 2005) and the Book Prize of the Lincoln Institute. Guelzo won his third Lincoln Prize for his book Gettysburg: The Last Invasion (2013), making him the first three-time recipient of the prize.
Guelzo differs notably from most contemporary scholars of the American Civil War in that he disagrees with the "Self-emancipation" thesis, which posits that the Confederates' slaves freed themselves during the war. To this effect, he cites the ex-slaves themselves, who testified that Abraham Lincoln, specifically his Emancipation Proclamation, was responsible for freeing them. In addition, Guelzo does not consider Abraham Lincoln to have been a competent military commander during his presidency, disagreeing with several military decisions he made on the grounds that they were unsound.
In addition to these books, he has produced editions of Manning Ferguson Force's From Fort Henry to Corinth (1989) and Josiah Gilbert Holland's Life of Abraham Lincoln (1998), as well as co-editing a volume of essays on Jonathan Edwards, Edwards In Our Time: Jonathan Edwards and the Shaping of American Religion (with Sang Hyun Lee, 1999) and The New England Theology: From Jonathan Edwards to Edwards Amasa Park, an anthology of primary sources on the New England theology from 1750 to 1850, with Douglas R. Sweeney (2006). His latest books include Lincoln and Douglas : The Debates That Defined America (2008), which led to an appearance on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" on February 27, 2008; Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas (2009), collection of his previously-published essays; and "Lincoln" (2009), a volume in Oxford University Press's "Very Short Introduction" series.
Matthew Pinsker notes that Guelzo, with his religious training, often emphasizes religious themes that other historians have neglected. Guelzo argues that Lincoln championed the cause of individual rights partly because of his profound fatalism and what Guelzo identifies as, "a lifelong dalliance with Old School Calvinism."
Rachel Shelden has noted that Guelzo's Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction (2012) is heavily focused on Lincoln. She asserts that little in the book is new, and much is based on old fashioned historiography. She says he underplays the recent scholarship on the home front, environmental concerns, and medical issues, while giving only cursory attention to the black experience or to the complexities of Reconstruction.
Guelzo has been an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow (1991–1992), a Visiting Research Fellow at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania (1992–1993), a Fellow of the Charles Warren Center for the Study of American History at Harvard University (1994–1995), and a Visiting Fellow, Department of Politics, Princeton University (2002–2003 and 2010–2011). He was appointed by President George W. Bush to the National Council on the Humanities in 2006. He is a board member of the Abraham Lincoln Association.
Awards and honors
Guelzo has two daughters and a son who is a career army officer.
- Guelzo, Allen C. (1989). Edwards on the Will: A Century of Theological Debate. Middletown, Conn: Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 0-8195-5193-7.
- Guelzo, Allen C. (1994). For the Union of Evangelical Christendom: The Irony of the Reformed Episcopalians. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 0-271-01002-9.
- Guelzo, Allen C. (1995). The Crisis of the American Republic: A History of the Civil War and Reconstruction Era. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-09515-5.
- Holland, J. (1998). Holland's Life of Abraham Lincoln. introduction by Allen C. Guelzo. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-7303-7.
- Guelzo, Allen C. "Defending Emancipation: Abraham Lincoln and the Conkling Letter, 1863," Civil War History (2002) 48#4 pp. 313–337
- Guelzo, Allen C. (2003). Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (Library of Religious Biography). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8028-4293-3.
- Guelzo, Allen C. (2004). Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-2182-6.
- Guelzo, Allen C.; Sweeney, Douglas A. (2006). The New England Theology: From Jonathan Edwards to Edwards Amasa Park. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic. ISBN 0-8010-2709-8.
- Guelzo, Allen C. (2008). Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates That Defined America. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-7320-6.
- Lind, Michael; Guelzo, Allen C. (2009). Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. ISBN 0-8093-2861-5.
- Guelzo, Allen C. (2009). Lincoln: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions). Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 0-19-536780-4.
- Guelzo, Allen C. (2012). Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 593. ISBN 978-0-19-984328-2.
- Guelzo, Allen C. (2013). Gettysburg: The Last Invasion. Knopf. p. 656. ISBN 978-0-307-59408-2.
- "Allen C. Guelzo – W.E.B. Du Bois Institute". The President and Fellows of Harvard College. 2009-06-28.
- "New Members Join Humanities Endowment's National Council". National Endowment for the Humanities. 2006-11-15. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- Rachel A. Shelden , review in Civil War History (June 2013) 59#2 p 237
- "Reconstruction, Race, and Andrew Johnson". C-SPAN.org.
- "Lincoln, Slavery, and the Dred Scott Case". C-SPAN.org.
- "The Reputation of Abraham Lincoln". C-SPAN.org.
- "Illinois Wesleyan: Lincoln Scholar to Speak at Founders' Day Convocation". Iwu.edu. 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
- "Award winning titles from the Penn State University Press". Psupress.org. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
- "Previous Winners". Gettysburg College. 2014-08-10. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
- Guelzo, Allen C. (March 3, 2010). "The Bicentennial Lincolns". Claremont Review of Books. California: The Claremont Institute. Archived from the original on February 6, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
- Matthew Pinsker review in Civil War History (2001) 47#2 pp 173–175
- Sheldon (2013) pp 238–9
- "Guelzo, Dr. Allen C." Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- "Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation". HFG. Archived from the original on 2014-08-25. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
- Schuessler, Jennifer. "Book on Gettysburg Wins $50,000 Military History Prize".
- "Laureates by Year - The Lincoln Academy of Illinois". The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
- "Corps of Officers". James Klotter Chapter - Boyd County High School. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- "Allen C. Guelzo, Distinguished Civil War Era Historian, Lincoln Scholar and Gettysburg College Professor Wins Prestigious Bradley Prize" (PDF). The Bradley Foundation. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
- "Understanding Lincoln: An interview with historian Allen Guelzo" (April 3, 2013), by Tom Mackaman, World Socialist Web Site
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