Customer Reviews for

Mr. Lincoln Goes to War

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted August 5, 2010

    Alternative View a Must for Fully Exploring the Topic

    One could assume a fair amount of bashing of the Author for even suggesting the idea that there was another alternative to war in order to reign in the renegade Southern states, especially when that suggestion is, essentially, that Lincoln could have simply done nothing and the secession movement probably would have resolved itself due to a lack of political will. Marvel suggests that it was only the invasion of Charleston Harbor that galvanized the South against a "tyrannical" north. Marvel suggests that but for this action the secession would not have gained any real steam but for a few rogue states that could have been reigned in without the massive bloodshed of the widespread war. Also, to suggest that doing nothing was a viable alternative takes away from the inculcated national memory of the heroic struggle to end the unjust and immoral institution of slavery. Nevertheless, earnest, exploratory but contrarian viewpoints such as Marvel's deserve a place in the vast landscape of literature that supports the heroic, "only one alternative" model.

    Marvel lays out some compelling narrative for consideration and to reflect upon. Lincoln's suspension of Habeas Corpus was particularly interesting but also quite frightening in that it happened in this Country less than 100 years after the ratification of the Constitution. Accounts and speculation about the actions and motivations of various administration bureaucrats also adds flavor to the criticism. However, and disappointingly, the narrative was often less than cohesive and took a detour into the weeds reading more like a civil war historian's detailed account of battles with movements of individuals carefully reconstructed.

    The work is not an "history" book in my view but more of an "exploration of an alternative history to put future actions into perspective" book. In the end, is this book a compelling argument that there was a real alternative to a war between the states to resolve the secession and to end slavery? No, in my opinion. Marvel himself admits it as he wraps up the book. However, it is an interesting "what if?" account to reflect upon and may be more useful, to us as a nation, for the future.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1