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Noted Civil War historian dies at 100

Nov. 5, 2012 at 2:33 PM   |   Comments

BOSTON, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Noted Civil War historian Richard N. Current, died in Boston at the age of 100, his family said.

Current passed away Oct. 26 from complications of Parkinson's disease, The New York Times reported.

Current's wide-ranging work helped scholars reinterpret President Abraham Lincoln and raise Lincoln studies to a professional level of scholarly inquiry, the newspaper said.

"He was a giant in the field from the era that made Lincoln the subject of professional historical study," said Gerald J. Prokopowicz, a former Lincoln scholar at the Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Ind., and now the chairman of the history department at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.

Current, who earned a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin and taught American history at a number of colleges and universities, wrote, co-wrote or edited more than 30 books, both about Lincoln and on other subjects, including a history of the typewriter and a study of U.S. statesman Daniel Webster.

"He was a very tough critic," Mark E. Neely, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Lincoln scholar and a professor of Civil War history at Penn State, said in an interview with the Times Thursday. "I remember one of the phrases he used when he was commenting on a paper he didn't like: 'What was new in it wasn't true and what was true in it wasn't new.' "

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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