The bicentennial of Lincoln's birth will be celebrated Feb. 12, so expect endless tributes to the president beloved by ordinary citizens and historians alike. Unless, of course, you're south of the Mason-Dixon line, where anti-Lincoln views "aren't particularly radical," writes Alex Beam of the Boston Globe. Lincoln is viewed by many as a cynical politician who pushed the Civil War not to end slavery but to keep his party in office.
"You can lay 600,000 bodies at his feet, the casualties of a totally unnecessary war," said the leader of one Confederate group. Yankee hypocrisy is also favorite target—Boston, said one anti-Lincoln advocate, fanned the flames of war to ensure the economic hegemony of the industrial North over the agrarian South. Of the Lincoln fans and phobes, one historian notes, "Neither side will acknowledge that Lincoln, like most human beings, was an extremely complicated man, a mix of good and bad."