Lincoln: A President for the Ages

Lincoln: A President for the Ages

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 2:00353730

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The First American. Frontiersman and backwoods attorney. Teller of bawdy tales and a spellbinding orator. A champion of liberty some called a would-be tyrant. Savior of the Union and the Great Emancipator. All these are Abraham Lincoln—in his time America’s most admired and reviled leader, and still our nation’s most enigmatic and captivating hero.

Timed to complement the new motion picture Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg, Lincoln: A President for the Ages introduces a new Lincoln grappling with some of history’s greatest challenges. Would Lincoln have dropped the bomb on Hiroshima? How would he conduct the War on Terror? Would he favor women’s suffrage or gay rights? Would today’s Lincoln be a star on Facebook and Twitter? Would he embrace the religious right—or denounce it?

The answers come from an all-star array of historians and scholars, including Jean Baker, Richard Carwardine, Dan Farber, Andrew Ferguson, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Allen C. Guelzo, Harold Holzer, James Malanowski, James Tackach, Frank J. Williams, and Douglas L. Wilson. Lincoln also features actor/activist Gloria Reuben describing how she played Elizabeth Keckley, the former-slave-turned-confidante of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln; and a selection of speeches and letters that explore little-known sides of Lincoln; “The Faces of Lincoln,” exploring his complex contemporary legacy.

Whether you’re a lifetime admirer of Lincoln or newly intrigued by his story, Lincoln: A President for the Ages offers a fascinating glimpse of his many-sided legacy.

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violation of natural rights, as an economic institution that created an uneven playing field for white men, and that dehumanized and brutalized black human beings; in the fascinating manner in which he wrestled with the deep-seated, conventional ambivalence about the status of Negroes vis-à-vis white people on the scale of civilization, his penchant for blackface minstrelsy and darky jokes, his initially strong skepticism about the native intellectual potential of people of color and the capacity

Hunter’s emancipation proclamation,” in 1862; as Stauffer puts it, “he publicly told Maryland’s slaveholders that he would rigorously defend the Fugitive Slave Act.”9 For Douglass, these were twin offenses, of the gravest consequences. In addition, a large measure of Douglass’s frustration with Lincoln stemmed from his decision at the end of the war to endorse a lenient view of Reconstruction that would allow the seceded states back into the Union based on pledges of loyalty from 10 percent of

constitutional guards which our fathers placed around it; they will do nothing that can give proper offence to those who hold slaves by legal sanction; but they will use every constitutional method to prevent the evil from becoming larger and involving more negroes, more white men, more soil, and more States in its deplorable consequences. They will, if possible, place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in course of ultimate peaceable extinction in God’s own good time.

on the soil of the seceded States,” said Seward of the State Department. “I would not provoke a war in any way now.” But one man, Postmaster General Montgomery Blair, urged the president to fight for the Union, and another man, a former naval officer named Gustavus Fox, developed a plan to get fresh supplies to Sumter. Buoyed by their encouragement, Lincoln once again escaped the unsatisfactory choices that were being foisted upon him. Unlike Buchanan, Lincoln would not be mired in his cabinet’s

the current interpenetration of religion and politics and would see the energetic political engagement of evangelical Christians as wholly legitimate. He knew firsthand all about evangelicals’ efforts to assert themselves in the public arena and to legislate a program based on their values and principles. During his political career, he observed evangelical campaigns for, inter alia, the protection of Native Americans, Sabbath observance, restrictions on the use of alcohol, opposition to the

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