Lincoln’s ascension to the status of icon was not smooth and steady. Journalist Horace Greeley predicted in April of 1865 that the sixteenth President’s reputation would grow proportionate to the distance from his own era, and it grew steadily from his death in 1865, but soared dramatically following his Centennial in 1909. The exponential growth of his popularity built into a memorial crescendo with the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington in 1922 and his likeness carved onto Mt. Rushmore in 1937. This phenomenon extended to Europe.
Even after more than 140 years the American Civil War continues to serve as a major source of inspiration for a plethora of literature in various genres. While only amounting to a brief period in American history in terms of years, this war has proved to be one of the central moments for defining the American nation since the second half of the nineteenth century. The facets of the Civil War, its protagonists, places, events, and political, social and cultural underpinnings seem to hold an ongoing fascination for both academic studies and fictional representations. Thus, it has been considered by many the most written-about war in the United States.