How Lincoln Was An Unsung Champion of Infrastructure and Economic Equality

Chicago, IL – Apr 16, 2021 – As we battle COVID, social upheaval and crumbling public amenities, America confronts a major infrastructure crisis that President Biden and Democrats are trying to address. 

Who better to look to than an American hero, whose infrastructure ideals are largely unsung? The only biography of its kind, LINCOLNOMICS: How President Lincoln Constructed the Great American Economy (Diversion Books; April 13, 2021; $31.99 Hardcover; ISBN 9781635766936) freshly explores Lincoln’s innovative policies with new sources and reveals his untold legacy as the developer of an economic ladder to democracy through national transportation, public education, and market access.  

Lincoln’s view of the right to improve one’s economic destiny was at the core of his own beliefs — but he knew no one could climb that ladder without strong federal support. Lincolnomics explores in depth Lincoln’s vision of a country linked by railroads; canals turning small towns into bustling cities; public works connecting farmers to global markets and higher education for all. 

Sidney Blumenthal, former senior advisor to Bill Clinton and author of The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, said Wasik’s book “provides an important and stimulating view of how Lincoln’s vision may apply to the future. He shows us Lincoln the Great Builder and Lincoln the Great Innovator … What would Lincoln do? Lincolnomics helps answer that question.” 

Lincolnomics does a deep dive on the little-known history of how Lincoln paved the way for Progressive reforms, The New Deal, Interstate Highway System and more. Discover:

  • How Lincoln’s role as innovator-in-chief led to institutionalized research and development in technology, medicine, and agricultural productivity;
  • As the only president to hold a patent, Lincoln was an inventor and champion of invention and innovation. He instituted a national bank and currency and a flat wealth tax to pay for government expenses – at the height of the Civil War;
  • The untold back story on Lincoln’s support for land-grant colleges through the Morrill Act, the foundation for today’s great public universities across the country; and
  • How Lincoln’s championing of the Transcontinental Railroad and pivotal public works such as the Illinois Central Railroad and the Illinois & Michigan Canal seeded a national program for broad-based, inclusive infrastructure and economic progress. 

An Illinois native, John F. Wasik is the author of 19 books. He has spoken across North America and written for The New York Times, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Bloomberg. In 2018, Wasik was named an Illinois Road Scholar by the Illinois Humanities Council. He has appeared on CNN, Fox, CNBC, MSNBC, NBC, PBS, NPR and radio stations across the world.

Additional information, e galleys or artwork is available upon request.

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