Illinois State University alumnus and photographer Robert Shaw says to better understand a person, understand where they have traveled. He uses that framework in his new photo book Abraham Lincoln Traveled This Way: The America Lincoln Knew to show Americans a new side of former U-S President Abraham Lincoln.
"The idea of the new book is basically using photography to recreate what America was like, that Lincoln knew."
Shaw says the book's fresh take on the former U-S president would not be possible with many other historical figures.
"It's kind of tribute to Lincoln because there are so many places that have been preserved and protected because of him and who he is and there are few people that you could really even do this with."
The book using images and narrative begins in Lincoln's birthplace in Kentucky, covers his years in Illinois, and explores his journey to the White House and his actions as president. Shaw says a lot can be learned by experiencing a place and exploring it beyond images and text, and hopes people will visit some of the one hundred locations featured in the book. The project was a five-year long effort. Shaw says the phoitos themselves shaped the book's design and focus.
"At a publishing house when a book's completed then it would be designed at that time, but I think the book's a lot stronger because of the fact that we designed it as we went. Where all the photographs, we tried to connect everything, and it flows well, which isn't easy to do."
Shaw says he hopes the book will shed new light on historical sites common to many in Illinois. Shaw hopes his book shows readers the America Lincoln experienced and will encourage people to explore those places.
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