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Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief

Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief
Author: James M. McPherson
ISBN 13: 9780143116141
ISBN 10: 143116142
Edition: 1
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 2009-09-29
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
List Price: $18.00

Though Abraham Lincoln arrived at the White House with no previous military experience, he Quickly established himself as the greatest commander in chief in American history. James McPherson illuminates this often misunderstood and profoundly influential aspect of Lincoln's legacy. In essence, Lincoln invented the idea of commander in chief, as neither the Constitution nor existing legislation specified how the president ought to declare war or dictate strategy. In fact, by assuming the powers we associate with the role of commander in chief, Lincoln often overstepped the narrow band of rights granted the president. Good thing too, because his strategic insight and will to fight changed the course of the war and saved the Union. For most of the conflict, he constantly had to goad his reluctant generals toward battle, and he oversaw strategy and planning for major engagements with the enemy. Lincoln was a self-taught military strategist (as he was a self-taught lawyer), which...

The Barnes & Noble Review

It is hard to imagine Lincoln except in black-and-white. The cover of James M. McPherson's Tried by War reproduces one of those old, familiar Matthew Brady photographs of the president among his soldiers, tall, solemn, looking as he often does toward something outside the frame. The deep blue of the soldiers' Union uniforms has been washed by time to a grainy gray. The black of Lincoln's stovepipe hat and long frock coat makes vivid contrast with the white background of a tent. He stands out like a tree against the sun.