The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln (American Presidency Series) / Edition 1

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Abraham Lincoln's life and work have inspired more books than any other historical figure except Jesus and Shakespeare and attracted some of America's most renowned writers. But few know him as well as Phillip Paludan, one of the nation's foremost authorities on Lincoln and the Civil War. Paludan offers us Lincoln in whole - a complex, even contradictory personality who found greatness without seeking it and who felt deeply troubled about what he perceived as the nation's intertwined triumph and tragedy. Filled with fresh insights and new interpretations, this book presents a genuinely new and compelling portrait of a president and nation at war. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Lincoln, the presidency, and the Civil War.
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Editorial Reviews

Book-of- the-Month-Club News
A genuinely new portrait of Lincoln on the job as chief executive. Thought-provoking and engrossing, this is one of the best and most authoritative books yet on the Lincoln presidency.
New York Review of Books
A judicious, erudite study.
Richmond Times-Dispatch
A superb analysis. Paludan's deft narrative covers the full sweep of Northern wartime politics. His characterizations are succinct and oftentimes unforgettable. This extremely well-written volume is a tribute not to a demigod but to a man.
Times Literary Supplement
Readers wanting a relatively brief, clearly written, carefully argued review of Lincoln's presidency will not find a better source than this volume.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is not a biography but a thorough and informative synthesis of much material on Lincoln's work as president. Paludan ( A People's Contest ), who teaches history at the University of Kansas, proceeds chronologically, describing, for example, how Lincoln assembled his cabinet to reflect his party's diverse elements, how he crafted his first inaugural and how Congress prepared for war by authorizing the printing of federal money in the era of state banknotes. Besides such details, Paludan also enters into historical debate: he argues that Lincoln's hands-off attitude toward administrative details strengthened him for ``larger matters of grand strategy''; that his 1862 support for blacks to emigrate and form their own colony helped reduce resistance to inevitable emancipation; that his pre-Emancipation Proclamation proposal that states have 37 years to free their slaves showed commitment to ``an orderly, gradual process of change.'' There is much to chew on in this book, as Paludan demonstrates that Lincoln's mastery of the ``political-constitutional institutions of his time'' served the country well. (May)
Library Journal
Lincoln's presidency began long before he took the oath of office. Political turmoil in the country forced Lincoln to face the challenges of his day and to reshape the nation's government based on the fundamental principles of the Constitution. Paludan examines aspects of the executive office, giving special emphasis to the importance of Lincoln's cabinet and the Congress. The author masterfully handles overviews of the war and how Lincoln used it to preserve the union. By skillfully maneuvering the country through the Civil War, Lincoln was able to redefine the role of commander in chief by being personally involved in the day-to-day actions of the Army of the Potomac. This work is an in-depth examination of the democratic political process, the strength of the Constitution, and how the abilities of a single individual were able to preserve the Union. Recommended for public or academic libraries with large Lincoln collections.-Barbara Zaborowski, Cambria Cty. Lib., Johnstown, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700607457
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 5/28/1994
  • Series: American Presidency Series
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 388
  • Sales rank: 823,951
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The State of the Union: 1860 3
2 Assembling the Cast: Winter 1860-61 21
3 To Sumter: January to April 1861 49
4 Congress Organizes, Lincoln Acts: April to December 1861 69
5 Forging the Resources of War: January to February 1862 97
6 Northern Power Emerges: March to June 1862 119
7 Leaving Old Moorings - McClellan and Emancipation: June to December 1862 137
8 Cabinet Crisis: December 1862 167
9 Emancipation and the Limits of Dissent: January to June 1863 185
10 Union Power Affirmed: May to July 1863 203
11 The Meaning of War: July to December 1863 217
12 Reconstruction Beginnings: May 1862 to December 1863 233
13 Lincoln Affirmed: January to June 1864 259
14 Louisiana and Reelection: June to November 1864 275
15 The Reconstruction Proposition: December 1864 to April 1865 297
16 Conclusion 315
Notes 321
Bibliographical Essay 363
Index 379
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