Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Harold Holzer  

Pen Name: None

Genre: History Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult; Young Adult;

Born: 1949

-- Website --
-- Harold Holzer on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

The Author was co-chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission from 2001 to 2010 and has written extensively about an Illinois subject of interest - Abraham Lincoln.

Biographical and Professional Information

A prolific writer, Mr. Holzer has written and edited over 37 books and numerous artlicles about various aspects on the life and presidency of Abraham Lincoln. He has also appeared frequently on television. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Award For Superior Achievement from the Illinois State Historical Society in 1993, The Lincoln Prize for his book about Lincoln's Cooper Union Speech in 2005, and the National Humanities Medal from President Bush and the National Endowement for the Humanities in 2008 to name a few.Currently he serves as Senior Vice President for External Affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where he is responsible for marketing, communications, government relations, internal communications, admissions, visitor services, and multicultural audience development at the nation's largest art institution.

Published Works

  • The New York Times Complete Civil War 1861-1865, Black Dog and Leventhal, 2010
  • Lincoln President Elect:..., Simon & Schuster, 2009
  • Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President, Simon & Schuster, 2006
  • The Lincoln Assasination: Crime & Punishement, Myth & Memory, Fordham University Press, 2010
  • Lincoln Seen and Heard, University Press of Kansas, 2000
  • Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: The Civil War in Art, Crown, 1993
  • The President is Shot!, Boyds Mill Press, 2004
  • The Union Image:..., University of North Carolina Press, 2000
  • Witness to War, Perigee Trade, 1996
  • The Emancipation Proclomation: Three Views, Louisiana State University Press, 2006

Selected Titles At Your Library

The New York Times complete Civil War, 1861-1865 /
ISBN: 1579128459. OCLC Number:

Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc. :. New York :. ©2010.

The New York Times, established in 1851, was one of the few newspapers with correspondents on the front lines throughout the Civil War. The Complete Civil War collects every article written about the war from 1861 to 1865, plus select pieces before and after the war and is filled with the action, politics, and personal stories of this monumental event. From the first shot fired at Fort Sumter to the surrender at Appomattox, and from the Battle of Antietam to the Battle of Atlanta, as well as articles on slavery, states' rights, the role of women, and profiles of noted heroes such as Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, the era comes alive through these daily first-hand accounts. More than 600 of the most crucial and interesting articles in the book -- typeset and designed for easy reading. More than 104,000 additional articles on the DVD-ROM -- every article the Times published during the war. A detailed chronology highlights articles and events of interest that can be found on the disk. Illustrated with hundreds of maps, historical photographs, and engravings.

Lincoln president-elect :
ISBN: 074328948X. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster,. New York :. 2008.

Abraham Lincoln first demonstrated his determination and leadership in the Great Secession Winter -- the four months between his election in November 1860 and his inauguration in March 1861 -- when he rejected compromises urged on him by Republicans and Democrats, Northerners and Southerners, that might have preserved the Union a little longer but would have enshrined slavery for generations. Though Lincoln has been criticized by many historians for failing to appreciate the severity of the secession crisis that greeted his victory, Harold Holzer shows that the president-elect waged a shrewd and complex campaign to prevent the expansion of slavery while vainly trying to limit secession to a few Deep South states. During this most dangerous White House transition in American history, the country had two presidents: one powerless (the president-elect, possessing no constitutional authority), the other paralyzed (the incumbent who refused to act). Through limited, brilliantly timed and crafted public statements, determined private letters, tough political pressure, and personal persuasion, Lincoln guaranteed the integrity of the American political process of majority rule, sounded the death knell of slavery, and transformed not only his own image but that of the presidency, even while making inevitable the war that would be necessary to make these achievements permanent. Lincoln President-Elect is the first book to concentrate on Lincoln's public stance and private agony during these months and on the momentous consequences when he first demonstrated his determination and leadership. Holzer recasts Lincoln from an isolated prairie politician yet to establish his greatness, to a skillful shaper of men and opinion and an immovable friend of freedom at a decisive moment when allegiance to the founding credo "all men are created equal" might well have been sacrificed.

Lincoln at Cooper Union :
ISBN: 0743299647. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster Paperbacks,. New York :. 2005.

"Lincoln at Cooper Union explores Lincoln's most influential and widely reported pre-presidential address - an extraordinary appeal by the western politician to the eastern elite that propelled him toward the Republican nomination for president. Delivered in New York in February 1860, the Cooper Union speech dispelled doubts about Lincoln's suitability for the presidency, and reassured conservatives of his moderation while reaffirming his opposition to slavery to Republican progressives."--Jacket.

The Lincoln assassination :
ISBN: 0823232263. OCLC Number:

Fordham University Press,. New York :. 2010.

Written at the end of the Lincoln bicentennial year, and the onset of the Civil War sesquicentennial, this book offers studies and arguments about the assassination, its aftermath, the extraordinary public reaction (which was more complex than has been previously believed), and the iconography that Lincoln's murder and deification inspired.

Mine eyes have seen the glory :
ISBN: 0517584484. OCLC Number:

Orion Books,. New York :. ©1993.

A stunning and definitive look at the best and most important artworks of the Civil War era. Includes sweeping battlefield panoramas, grisly combat tableaux, camp scenes, and heroic portraiture of military leaders, all accompanied by a lively text that is as entertaining as it is informative. Full-color and black-and-white photographs.

The president is shot! :
ISBN: 1563979853. OCLC Number:

Boyds Mills Press,. Honesdale, Pa. :. 2004.

The brutal murder of Abraham Lincoln shocked America and changed our history forever. Why Booth killed Lincoln and how the assassination transformed Lincoln from man to myth is explored.

The Union image :
ISBN: 0807825107. OCLC Number:

University of North Carolina Press,. Chapel Hill :. ©2000.

Focusing on the popular prints used by the Northern side of the American Civil War, this book examines the importance of graphic arts in rallying support for the Union during the war and in shaping the national memory after the war.

Witness to War :
ISBN: 0399522034. OCLC Number:

Berkley Pub.,. New York, NY :. 1996.

The Emancipation Proclamation :
ISBN: 080713144X. OCLC Number:

Louisiana State University Press,. Baton Rouge :. ©2006.

"The Emancipation Proclamation is the most important document of arguably the greatest president in U.S. history. Now, Edna Greene Medford, Frank J. Williams, and Harold Holzer?eminent experts in their fields?remember, analyze, and interpret the Emancipation Proclamation in three distinct respects: the influence of and impact upon African Americans; the legal, political, and military exigencies; and the role pictorial images played in establishing the document in public memory. The result is a carefully balanced yet provocative study that views the proclamation and its author from the perspective of fellow Republicans, antiwar Democrats, the press, the military, the enslaved, free blacks, and the antislavery white establishment, as well as the artists, publishers, sculptors, and their patrons who sought to enshrine Abraham Lincoln and his decree of freedom in iconography."--Publisher website (October 2006).

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Holzer is senior vice-president for External Affairs at the Metroplitan Museum of Modern Art in New York City.