Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, 50th Anniversary Edition / Edition 50

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Crisis of the House Divided is the standard historiography of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Harry Jaffa provides the definitive analysis of the political principles that guided Lincoln from his reentry into politics in 1854 through his Senate campaign against Douglas in 1858. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the original publication, Jaffa has provided a new introduction.

"Crisis of the House Divided has shaped the thought of a generation of Abraham Lincoln and Civil War scholars."—Mark E. Needly, Jr., Civil War History

"An important book about one of the great episodes in the history of the sectional controversy. It breaks new ground and opens a new view of Lincoln's significance as a political thinker."—T. Harry Williams, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences

"A searching and provocative analysis of the issues confronted and the ideas expounded in the great debates. . . . A book which displays such learning and insight that it cannot fail to excite the admiration even of scholars who disagree with its major arguments and conclusions."—D. E. Fehrenbacher, American Historical Review

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Editorial Reviews


“Four hundred pages of close textual analysis, biography and political philosophy, the book transformed the scholarly understanding of Lincoln, placing the prairie lawyer on a level with Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, and the other founders.”
National Review

"One of the most influential works of American history and political philosophy ever published."
Andrew Ferguson

"A book that will never die--a genuine landmark in American thought. It's the greatest Lincoln book ever. No foolin'."

“Four hundred pages of close textual analysis, biography and political philosophy, the book transformed the scholarly understanding of Lincoln, placing the prairie lawyer on a level with Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, and the other founders.”—Forbes

National Review

"One of the most influential works of American history and political philosophy ever published."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226391182
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2009
  • Edition description: Anniversar
  • Edition number: 50
  • Pages: 472
  • Sales rank: 143,406
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Harry Jaffa is Henry Salvatori Research Professor of Political Philosophy Emeritus at Claremont McKenna College.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Introductory
I. 1958: The Crisis in Historical Judgment
II. 1958: Lincoln versus Douglas. The Alternatives
Part II. The Case for Douglas
III. Slavery
IV. Manifest Destiny
V. The Repeal of the Missouri Compromise I. The Legal Power and Practical Impotence of Federal Prohibitions of Slavery in the Territories
VI. The Repeal of the Missouri Compromise II. Did the Compromise of 1850 "Supersede" the Missouri Compromise?
VII. The Repeal of the Missouri Compromise III. What Douglas Intended on January 4, 1854
VIII. The Repeal of the Missouri Compromise IV. Tragedy. The Extremes Crush the Mean
Part III. The Political Philosophy of a Young Whig
IX. The Teaching Concerning Political Salvation
X. The Teaching Concerning Political Moderation
Part IV. The Case for Lincoln
XI. The Legal Tendency toward Slavery Expansion
XII. The Political Tendency toward Slavery Expansion
XIII. The Intrinsic Evil of the Repeal of the Missouri Compromise
XIV. The Universal Meaning of the Declaration of Independence
XV. The Form and Substance of Political Freedom in the Modern World
XVI. Popular Sovereignty: True and False
XVII. The Meaning of Equality: Abstract and Practical
XVIII. The "Natural Limits" of Slavery Expansion
XIX. Did the Republicans Abandon Lincoln's Principles after the Election of 1860?
XX. The End of Manifest Destiny
Appendix I. Some of the Historical Background to the Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Appendix II. Some Notes on the Dred Scott Decision
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