Overview

Abraham Lincoln was a skilled politician, an inspirational leader, and a man of humor and pathos.  What many may not realize is how much he was also a man of ideas. Despite the most meager of formal educations, Lincoln’s tremendous intellectual curiosity drove him into the circle of Enlightenment philosophy and democratic political ideology. And from these, Lincoln developed a set of political convictions that guided him throughout his life and his presidency. Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas, a compilation...

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Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas

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Overview

Abraham Lincoln was a skilled politician, an inspirational leader, and a man of humor and pathos.  What many may not realize is how much he was also a man of ideas. Despite the most meager of formal educations, Lincoln’s tremendous intellectual curiosity drove him into the circle of Enlightenment philosophy and democratic political ideology. And from these, Lincoln developed a set of political convictions that guided him throughout his life and his presidency. Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas, a compilation of ten essays from Lincoln scholar, Allen C. Guelzo, uncovers the hidden sources of Lincoln’s ideas and examines the beliefs that directed his career and brought an end to slavery and the Civil War.

These essays reveal Lincoln to be a man of impressive intellectual probity and depth as well as a man of great contradictions. He was an apostle of freedom who did not believe in human free will; a champion of the Constitution who had to step outside of it in order to save it; a man of many acquaintances and admirers, but few friends; a man who opposed slavery but also opposed the abolition of it; a man of prudence who took more political risks than any other president.

Guelzo explores the many faces of Lincoln’s ideas, and especially the influence of the Founding Fathers and the great European champions of democracy. And he links the 16th president’s struggles with the issues of race, emancipation, religion, and civil liberties to the challenges these issues continue to offer to Americans today.

Lincoln played many roles in his life—lawyer, politician, president—but in each he was driven by a core of values, convictions, and beliefs about economics, society, and democracy. Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas is a broad and exciting survey of the ideas that made Lincoln great, just as we celebrate the bicentennial his birth.

                                                                                                           

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Allen Guelzo is one of the finest Lincoln scholars of our generation, and this book of essays reveals once again a unique combination of impeccable scholarship with a wonderfully readable narrative style.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

“Written in an easy, flowing style, Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas is a valuable compendium of the ideas driving some of our most important historical inquiries into Lincoln’s life and times. This first-rate collection is a significant contribution to the literature on Lincoln.”—Brian R. Dirck, author of Lincoln and Davis: Imagining America, 1809–1865

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809386376
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 1/26/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 1,347,615
  • File size: 610 KB

Meet the Author

Allen C. Guelzo, the author of Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates that Defined America, is Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College. He is a member of the National Council for the Humanities and a two-time winner of the Lincoln Prize, for Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President and Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America.
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Table of Contents


Contents
Foreword 00
Michael Lind
Introduction: What Would Lincoln Do? 00
1. The Unlikely Intellectual Biography of Abraham Lincoln 00
2. Abraham Lincoln and the Doctrine of Necessity 00
3. Come-outers and Community-Men: Abraham Lincoln and the Idea of Community in Nineteenth-Century America 00
4. Lincoln and Natural Law 00
5. ¿Fiends . . . Facing Zionwards¿: Abraham Lincoln¿s Reluctant Embrace of the Abolitionists 00
6. Apples of Gold in a Picture of Silver: Lincoln, the Constitution, and Liberty 00
7. Understanding Emancipation: Lincoln¿s Proclamation and the End of Slavery 00
8. Defending Emancipation: Abraham Lincoln and the Conkling Letter, August 1863 00
9. Prudence and the Proclamation 00
10. Lincoln and the ¿War Powers¿ of the Presidency 00
Index 00
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