This new volume in the Best American History Essays series brings together classic writing from top American historians on one of our greatest presidents. Ranging from incisive assessments of his political leadership, to explorations of his enigmatic character, to reflections on the mythos that has become inseparable from the man, each of these contributions expands our understanding of Abraham Lincoln and shows why he has been such an object of enduring fascination.
* James McPherson on Lincoln the military strategist
* Richard Hofstadter on the Lincoln legend
* Edmund Wilson on his contribution to American letters
* John Hope Franklin on the Emancipation Proclamation
* James Horton on Lincoln and race
* David M. Potter on the secession
* Richard Current on Lincoln's political genius
* Mark Neely on Lincoln and civil liberties
In this special edition of their annual Best American History Essays, the Organization of American Historians tasked Princeton University professor Wilentz to collect the best of Lincoln scholarship from the past 60 years. Each of the eleven essays come from a noted historian considering the 16th President from a different angle; included are Richard Hofstadter on Lincoln the self-made myth, Jean H. Baker on Lincoln the husband, John Hope Franklin on Lincoln the decider, Richard N. Current on Lincoln the "master politician," and James Oliver Horton on Lincoln the "strange, friendless, uneducated, penniless boy." Wilentz organizes the material in themes-general overview, the private man, the public figure, and the commander-in-chief-and, though some of the writing can be dry and dense, manages to stave off redundancy. Full of closely-observed commentary and genuine insight, this roundup with be appreciated most by students and serious armchair historians.
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