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Bestselling Author Ron White to Give Rare Glimpse Inside the Mind of President Abraham Lincoln

May 17, 2021

Whitworth University is pleased to host a virtual discussion with New York Times bestselling author and historian Ron White on Tuesday, May 25, at 7 p.m.(PST).

White will talk about his new book Lincoln in Private: What His Most Personal Reflections Tell Us About Our Greatest President. In it, White explores the meaning behind a dozen notes that President Abraham Lincoln wrote to himself.

“A deeply private man, Lincoln captured ‘his best thoughts,’ as he called them, in short notes to himself,” White says. “He did not date, title or sign them because he never expected anyone to see them.” 

In the book, White walks readers through 12 of the most fascinating notes, showcasing the president’s brilliance and empathy, but also his very human ambitions and anxieties. 

White writes: “We look over Lincoln’s shoulder as he grapples with the problem of slavery, expresses his private feelings of failure after a bid for a Senate seat, and, for a president many have viewed as not religious, writes a sophisticated theological reflection on the purposes of God in the midst of the Civil War.”

Jon Meacham, Pulitzer-prize winning author, writes: “In this elegant and illuminating book, the great biographer Ronald C. White takes us on a fascinating tour inside the mind – and the heart – of Abraham Lincoln.”

White has emerged as one of the nation’s leading scholars on Lincoln. His other books include Lincoln’s Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural; The Eloquent President: A Portrait of Lincoln through His Words; and A. Lincoln, A Biography. He has received wide acclaim for his analysis of the context and content of Lincoln’s speeches and the ways in which they add new depth to our understanding of one of the nation’s most revered leaders.

White served as a religion professor and chaplain at Whitworth in the 1970s. But, in the 1990s, while teaching history at UCLA, he taught an elective course on Lincoln that turned into a personal passion. After reading Lincoln’s second inaugural address, he said in an interview, “I was just blown away. I wanted to find a book on the address, but I couldn’t – so I wrote one.” 

The event is free and open to the public. To register, click here. White’s book is available for purchase here

About Whitworth University: 

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Michelle Drennen, director of university events, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3449 or

Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or