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Centennial Speaker Series: John F. Wasik on Lincolnomics: How President Lincoln Constructed the Great American Economy

Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 121 p.m.


Has there ever been a time when Abraham Lincoln has gone silent? Our immortal conscience on civil rights and individual freedom is speaking to us yet again in the time of COVID-19 and public unrest. Yet Lincoln has managed to become even more relevant as we tackle infrastructure, health care, climate change, and human rights. The forthcoming book by John F. Wasik, Lincolnomics: How President Lincoln Constructed the Great American Economy, puts the 16th president in a powerful new light: He was our foremost architect of economic development, equal treatment, and physical and intellectual improvements, from transportation to medical research.

In this presentation, Wasik will show a vastly under-studied side of Lincoln. As the only president to hold a patent, he was an innovator. During his brief time as a surveyor, he was an urban planner. Surprisingly, his longest and most comprehensive speeches were devoted to the culture of invention, “internal improvements,” and research and development.

Lincoln as “Innovator in Chief” has enhanced relevance today, as the new Congress and president lean into a bold program on national infrastructure, climate change, and health care reforms. Lincoln not only gave the nation a framework for a more just and equitable society, he literally told us how we could go about building it.

12 p.m.: Welcome Remarks: James Kelly, director of the Gabelli Center for Global Security Analysis

12:05 p.m.: Speaker Introduction: David Cowen, president and CEO of the Museum of American

12:08 p.m.: Discussion: John F. Wasik

12:45 p.m.: Audience Q&A

1 p.m.: Closing Remarks: David Cowen

About the Speaker
Wasik is the author of 19 books and has spoken all across North America. As a journalist, he’s written for The New York Times, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, AARP, Barron’s, Fortune.com, Money, Reader’s Digest, and Washington Monthly, and he has been a columnist for Bloomberg News, Reuters, and other national publications. In 2018, Wasik was named an Illinois Road Scholar for the Illinois Humanities Council.

Copies of Lincolnomics will be raffled off to attendees.

This event is co-sponsored with the CFA Society New York, the Gabelli Center for Global Security Analysis, and the Museum of American Finance.