1. A complaint over DiLorenzo's characterization of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.
2. A complaint about the erronious context quotation by Lincoln.
3. A complaint about the 1857 date.
4. A complaint about an erronious Lincoln quote stated by another author than DiLorenzo that itself had come from a novel.
5. A blanket declaration of void against DiLorenzo's book, supposedly supported by these previous points.
Giving each a due examination, one finds they are nothing but more of the same this particular author has been shouting over and over and over again for several months.
It has been charged that Ferrier has built his entire case against DiLorenzo on 4-5 complaints that he repeats over and over and over again. He has denied this charge, each time asserting there to be "dozens" of unnamed other incidents like his 4-5 complaints. One would think that Ferrier would give some examples of these "dozens" of other complaints to better his case, and I know for a fact that Ferrier has been asked to do so. The above article was a perfect chance for him to do so. Examining its main points, it is clear that he did not. Ferrier made a grand total of three charges against DiLorenzo in this article, all of which he has previously made. Let's take a closer look
The first two of those three have been overanalyzed and hyped so obsessively by Ferrier that little room remains for any substantial further discussion of them on his part.
The one I marked #2 is about a single quote of Lincoln that was printed out of context in DiLorenzo's work and accordingly misinterpreted by accident. DiLorenzo immediately retracted it upon discovery of the error and has since corrected it for future publications. It is simply absurd to attempt to use this complaint to beat him with, as it is no longer even a valid complaint nor does it pertain to any of the significant arguments put forth by DiLorenzo in the book.
The complaint I marked as #1 comes from a single once sentence assertion in DiLorenzo's book regarding the issue of bank policy in the Lincoln Douglas debates. Ferrier conveniently leaves out the complete picture of this issue. It stems from where DiLorenzo asserted the presence of the bank issue having been mentioned in the debates. DiLorenzo overstated his characterization of their prominence, but is correct in asserting the issue to have been mentioned. When Ferrier originally raised the issue of this point, he turned to, as proof, a quotation by James McPherson asserting that "not a word" was said about the issue in any of the debates and declared the issue settled. McPherson's quotation, it turns out, was itself erronious as words were definately said, though they were not prominent as DiLorenzo characterized them. Now Ferrier exempts his earlier mention of this from his discussion, yet lodges the same complaint for what seems like the gazillionth time. He further does so to no significant end, as he fails to again address the major argument of DiLorenzo about Lincoln's economic agenda. Economics emerged only briefly in the debates, but more importantly were indisputably present in Lincoln's statements and letters of the same time and the years that followed.
His other complaint, which I marked #3, pertains to a footnote citation of another author. Ferrier has brought this one up as well. Going back to the cited author given as the source, one finds that, as one of Ferrier's academic friends who he asserts to be a Lincoln scholar put it, the error originated with the other author. DiLorenzo cited that other author and in doing so carried the earlier author's mistake.
Ferrier's inclusion of point #4 is unusual and of no consequence to DiLorenzo's book, therefore making me wonder why he included it in the first place.
As for his conclusion, a blanket dismissal of DiLorenzo's book, it is simply not substantiated. Yet again Ferrier only bothered to re-re-re-reassert a couple of the 4-5 talking point style complaints that have been lodged against DiLorenzo. Interestingly, those that he picked out of his 5 were ones that have either been settled and corrected, or are by no means as cut and dried as he presents them.
In short, more pettyness yet no substance.
You characterize the "4 or 5 complaints" about DiLorenzo's book as "petty". I submit that they are not "petty" and in fact cast doubt on the credibility of the whole work. DiLorenzo has shown that he cannot be trusted.
My friend, there is a silver lining to all this. What will they argue about once the few corrections have been made to the book?
Could you please point out where the conclusion part of the article begins and ends?
I think that in this article the conclusion is that one ought to verify the sources cited in history books and be alert to poor scholarship. The article assumes (whether rightly or wrongly doesn't pertain to the overall argument) that DiLorenzo's thought about Lincoln is incorrect but examines DiLorenzo's use of historical material, real and unreal.
As far as I'm concerned, I have drawn no conclusions about Lincooln from DiLorenzo's book because it is unreliable. For all I know his thesis may be correct, though I doubt it. But his book does nothing to advance the thesis and rather advances -- a very little -- the opposing POV because of the startling inaccuracies and imprecision of DiLorenzo's work.
I will have to look elsewhere for reliable information, that's all.