Vox Tablet

Abraham Lincoln’s Other Minority

Historian Jonathan Sarna discusses the Great Emancipator’s ties to a chiropodist, military men, and other Jews

April 15, 2015
(Photo collage: Tablet Magazine; main photo: Wikipedia)

(Photo collage: Tablet Magazine; main photo: Wikipedia)

The 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, was known for many things, among them his humble origins, his commitment to ending slavery, his assassination exactly 150 years ago at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. Less well-parsed were his relationships with Jews. And there were many such ties. Lincoln and the Jews, by Jonathan Sarna and Benjamin Shapell, examines scores of documents and archival materials to show that Lincoln befriended many Jews and also worked to include them in various strata of government.

Sarna, a historian at Brandeis University, joins Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry to discuss the origins of this particular project, how the foot doctor, Issachar Zacharie, came to be so important to Lincoln, and where president’s openness to contemporary Jews came from.

Vox Tablet is Tablet Magazine’s weekly podcast, hosted by Sara Ivry and produced by Julie Subrin. You can listen to individual episodes here or subscribe on iTunes.

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