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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on the penny and the five-dollar bill, the disembodied granite head on Mount Rushmore, the nineteen-foot-tall figure of Georgia white marble grandly enthroned in Washington, and the filmed embodiments by actors from Walter Huston and Raymond Massey to Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, and Sam Waterston—and now, of course, Daniel Day-Lewis in the new film, scripted by Tony Kushner and directed by Steven Spielberg, that is the occasion for the publication of this book. And let’s not exclude such

the end, was Abraham Lincoln’s most “sacred effort” of all. LINCOLN’S WORDS Notes on the Practice of Law (1850) “If you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer” I am not an accomplished lawyer. I find quite as much material for a lecture in those points wherein I have failed as in those wherein I have been moderately successful. The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man, of every calling, is diligence. Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.

examine how federal power fared under Lincoln, however, we need to look at how his views were rooted in the philosophy of a now-forgotten political party, the Whigs. The Whigs had emerged in reaction to Jackson and his populist movement. Lincoln began as a Whig and never lost his attachment to their philosophy. For most of the nineteenth century, the Democrats were the “small government” party. Their opponents—first the Federalists, then the Whigs, and then the Republicans—favored a more

from Springfield to Washington for his swearing-in, he tried to drain some of the tension from the situation. “Why all this excitement?” he said in Cleveland. “Why all these complaints? As I said before, this crisis is all artificial. It has no foundation in facts. . . . Let it alone and it will go down itself.” By that point, seven states had seceded, and Lincoln was soon persuaded to drop this sanguine approach. When Lincoln next spoke on the subject of secession, it was in his inaugural

through the New-York Tribune. If there be in it any statements, or assumptions of fact, which I may know to be erroneous, I do not, now and here, controvert them. If there be in it any inferences which I may believe to be falsely drawn, I do not now and here, argue against them. If there be perceptable in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be right. As to the policy I “seem to be pursuing” as you say, I have not

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