Richard Carwardine

Richard Carwardine, CMG, FBA, FLSW is Emeritus Rhodes Professor of American History. His research and publications centre on the United States between 1776 and the Civil War.  His chief interest is the interplay of politics and religion in a society that tolerated slavery and lacked a national church establishment.  Winner of the Lincoln Prize, he has a special interest in the life, presidency, and international legacy of the sixteenth US president. He is currently writing a book on contending expressions of religious nationalism in the Civil War era and their role in shaping cultural conflict and aiding political mobilisation in the wartime Union.

He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2006 and was a Founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in 2010. The Lincoln Academy of Illinois elected him in 2009 to the Order of Lincoln, the state’s highest honour.

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019 he received a CMG for services to the study of American History in the UK and the USA.

Selected publications


  • Lincoln’s Sense of Humor (Southern Illinois University Press: Carbondale, 2017).  Winner of the Abraham Lincoln Institute and Abraham Lincoln Book Prize for 2018.
  • The Global Lincoln, ed. Richard Carwardine and Jay Sexton (Oxford University Press: New York, 2011).
  • Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power (Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 2006), xv, 394 pp. [revised and expanded North American edition of Lincoln (Pearson: Harlow, 2003). Winner of the Lincoln Prize in 2004
  • Evangelicals and Politics in Antebellum America (Yale University Press: New Haven, 1993)
  • Transatlantic Revivalism: Popular Evangelicalism in Britain and America, 1790-1865 (Greenwood Press: Westport, CT, and London, 1978)

Selected essays:

  • “Humor and Statesmanship: The Instructive Case of Abraham Lincoln,” in The Unfinished Work of Lincoln in Civil War, Reconstruction, and Post-Reconstruction America, eds Vernon Burton and Peter Eisenstadt (LSU 2021, forthcoming)
  • “Interviews: Richard Carwardine” in David North and Thomas Mackaman, The New York Times 1619 Project and Racialist Falsification of History: History and Interviews (Mehring Books: Oak Park, MI, 2021), 137-48.
  • ‘Antebellum Reform’ in Heath W. Carter and Laura Rominger Porter, eds, Turning Poiints in the History of American Evangelicalism (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2017), pp.65-83.
  • ‘About the South’ in Orville Vernon Burton and Eldred E. Prince, Jr., eds, Becoming Southern Writers: Essays in Honor of Charles Joyner (University of South Carolina Press: Columbia, 2016), pp.59-64.
  • ‘Lincoln as Leader: The Visible Hand of the Presidency’, in Stephen D. Engle, ed., The War Worth Fighting For: Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency and Civil War America (University Press of Florida: Gainesville, 2015), pp.153-72.
  • ‘Lincoln and Emancipation: The Lessons of the Letter to Horace Greeley’ in Iwan W. Morgan and Philip John Davies, eds, Reconfiguring the Union: Civil War Transformations (Palgrave Macmillan: New York, 2013), pp.21-40.
  • ‘Lincoln and the Christian Right’ in Karl Weber, ed., Lincoln: A President for the Ages (Public Affairs, 2013), pp.199-214.
  • ‘“A party man who did not believe in any man who was not”: Lincoln, the Republican Party, and the Union’ in W.J. Cooper and J. McCardell, eds, In the Cause of Liberty: How the Civil War Redefined American Ideals (Louisiana State University Press: Baton Rouge, 2009), pp.40-62.
  • ‘Lincoln, the Chicago Initiative, and the Emancipation Proclamation’ in William Blair and Mark E. Neely, Jr., eds, Lincoln’s Proclamation: Emancipation Reconsidered (University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, 2009), pp.75-101.
  • ‘Lincoln’s Religion’ in Eric Foner, ed., Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World (Norton: New York, 2008), pp.223-48.