Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute have announced the 2010 Lincoln Prize will be awarded to Michael Burlingame for his 2000+ page two volume biography, Abraham Lincoln: A Life. Burlingame, now the Chair of Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois-Springfield, is reputed to have spent two decades working on the first major multi-volume biography of Lincoln in over a generation.
Needless to say, I have yet to read Burlingame's now award-winning book. I've twenty-some pages of the original unedited draft, which has more extensive footnotes and is available at the Lincoln Studies Center's website. It is impressive, but I know that I need to read it in old-fashioned book form.
Even without reading Burlingame's work, it is not surprising that it was recognized. Burlingame is frequently seen as one of the foremost Lincoln scholars alive, with a reputation for an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Lincoln-related source materials. More surprising was the scholarly nature of the other finalists, which overlooked some other high profile Lincoln releases in the bicentennial year.
Burlingame will receive the award at a ceremony on April 27.