Back to All Events

The Rise of Lincoln & US Division at Cooper Union

  • The Great Hall at Cooper Union (map)

Abraham Lincoln’s rise to lead the country through the intense divisions of the Civil War era holds lessons for today’s divided America. Join two experts, acclaimed author Sidney Blumenthal and CNN’s John Avlon, as they explore the parallels between Lincoln’s divided America and ours today.

On Tuesday September 24, author-journalist-past Presidential advisor, Sidney Blumenthal and CNN’s John Avlon, anchor, Senior Political Analyst and acclaimed author of Washington’s Farewell, will dive into one of the most divisive periods in American history, the unlikely political ascendance of President Abraham Lincoln, and how Lincoln’s story is relevant today. In co-sponsorship with Cooper Union and held at the site where Lincoln gave one of the most important speeches in US history.

We have a limited number of special reserved seats which include a copy of All the Powers of Earth and an opportunity for it to be signed by Blumenthal after the discussion.

Magisterial...a vividly written, wide-ranging and often surprising account of the president-to-be.
— New York Times

Doors open at 6:00pm. Private dinner tickets available with Blumenthal and Avlon for Executive Members and above only immediately following.

RSVP now - limited reserved seating available.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software


sidney blumenthal the common good

Sidney Blumenthal is the acclaimed author of A Self-Made Man and Wrestling with His Angel, the first two volumes in his five-volume biography, The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln.  He is the former assistant and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and senior adviser to Hillary Clinton.  He has been a national staff reporter for The Washington Post and Washington editor and writer for The New Yorker.  His other books include the bestselling The Clinton WarsThe Rise of the Counter-Establishment, and The Permanent Campaign.  Born and raised in Illinois, he lives in Washington, D.C.


John Avlon is an author, columnist and commentator. He is a senior political analyst and anchor at CNN, appearing on New Day every morning. From 2013 to 2018, he was the editor-in-chief and managing director of The Daily Beast. He is the author of the books Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American PoliticsWingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America, and Washington’s Farewell: the Founding Father’s Warning to Future Generations. He is also the co-editor of the acclaimed Deadline Artists journalism anthologies.

The Common Good is proud to have hosted John Avlon several times, recently speaking during our Defending Democracy event alongside Philip Bobbitt, Ian Kahn, Garry Kasparov and Bret Stephens, and The Common Good Forum & American Spirit Awards 2019 where he presented the American Spirit Award for Citizen Activism to Bill Browder and Distinguished Public Service to Preet Bharara, moderating them in discussion about “Rule of Law, Corruption, and Abuse of Power”.

all the powers of earth  the common good

In All the Powers of Earth, Lincoln's incredible ascent to power in a world of chaos is newly revealed through the great biographer's extraordinary research and literary style.

After a period of depression that he would ever find his way to greatness, Lincoln takes on the most powerful demagogue in the country, Stephen Douglas, in the debates for a senate seat. He sidelines the frontrunner William Seward, a former governor and senator for New York, to cinch the new Republican Party’s nomination.

All the Powers of Earth is the political story of all time. Lincoln achieves the presidency by force of strategy, of political savvy and determination. This is Abraham Lincoln, who indisputably becomes the greatest president and moral leader in the nation’s history. But he must first build a new political party, brilliantly state the anti-slavery case and overcome shattering defeat to win the presidency. In the years of civil war to follow, he will show mightily that the nation was right to bet on him. He was its preserver, a politician of moral integrity.

All the Powers of Earth cements Sidney Blumenthal as the definitive Lincoln biographer.