The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War [NOOK Book]

Overview

A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War
Most Americans consider Abraham Lincoln to be the greatest president in history. His legend as the Great Emancipator has grown to mythic proportions as hundreds of books, a national holiday, and a monument in Washington, D.C., extol his heroism and martyrdom. But what if most everything you knew about Lincoln were false? What if, instead of an American hero who sought to free the slaves, Lincoln were in fact a ...
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The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War

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Overview

A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War
Most Americans consider Abraham Lincoln to be the greatest president in history. His legend as the Great Emancipator has grown to mythic proportions as hundreds of books, a national holiday, and a monument in Washington, D.C., extol his heroism and martyrdom. But what if most everything you knew about Lincoln were false? What if, instead of an American hero who sought to free the slaves, Lincoln were in fact a calculating politician who waged the bloodiest war in american history in order to build an empire that rivaled Great Britain's? In The Real Lincoln, author Thomas J. DiLorenzo uncovers a side of Lincoln not told in many history books and overshadowed by the immense Lincoln legend.
Through extensive research and meticulous documentation, DiLorenzo portrays the sixteenth president as a man who devoted his political career to revolutionizing the American form of government from one that was very limited in scope and highly decentralized—as the Founding Fathers intended—to a highly centralized, activist state. Standing in his way, however, was the South, with its independent states, its resistance to the national government, and its reliance on unfettered free trade. To accomplish his goals, Lincoln subverted the Constitution, trampled states' rights, and launched a devastating Civil War, whose wounds haunt us still. According to this provacative book, 600,000 American soldiers did not die for the honorable cause of ending slavery but for the dubious agenda of sacrificing the independence of the states to the supremacy of the federal government, which has been tightening its vise grip on our republic to this very day.
You will discover a side of Lincoln that you were probably never taught in school—a side that calls into question the very myths that surround him and helps explain the true origins of a bloody, and perhaps, unnecessary war.

"A devastating critique of America's most famous president."
Joseph Sobran, commentator and nationally syndicated columnist

"Today's federal government is considerably at odds with that envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. Thomas J. DiLorenzo gives an account of How this come about in The Real Lincoln."
Walter E. Williams, from the foreword

"A peacefully negotiated secession was the best way to handle all the problems facing Americans in 1860. A war of coercion was Lincoln's creation. It sometimes takes a century or more to bring an important historical event into perspective. This study does just that and leaves the reader asking, 'Why didn't we know this before?'"
Donald Livingston, professor of philosophy, Emory University

"Professor DiLorenzo has penetrated to the very heart and core of American history with a laser beam of fact and analysis."
Clyde Wilson, professor of history, University of South Carolina, and editor, The John C. Calhoun Papers

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Dismissing Lincoln's concern for the inequities of institution of slavery as a political chimera, DiLorenzo (economics, Loyola College in Maryland) argues that Lincoln's real agenda in prosecuting the Civil War was to further the Hamiltonian project of centralizing government function in an economically interventionist state. The idea that slavery was central to the Civil War is discounted by reference to the possibilities of compensated emancipation, glossing over the fact that the Southern states seceded over the issue of the expansion of slavery to the territories. Lincoln's real motivation was an adherence to Henry Clay's economic agenda, which pitted the Republicans against the "states' rights Jeffersonians." Other chapters look at the theoretical basis of the right to secede and criticize (from a libertarian viewpoint) the economic legacy left by Lincoln. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"A devastating critique of America's most famous president."
—Joseph Sobran, commentator and nationally syndicated columnist

"Today's federal government is considerably at odds with that envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. Thomas J. DiLorenzo gives an account of how this came about in The Real Lincoln."
—Walter E. Williams, from the foreword

"A peacefully negotiated secession was the best way to handle all the problems facing America in 1860. A war of coercion was Lincoln's creation. It sometimes takes a century of more to bring an important historical event into perspective. This study does just that and leaves the reader asking, 'Why didn't we know this before?' "
—Donald Livingston, professor of philosophy, Emory University

"Professor DiLorenzo has penetrated to the very heart and core of American history with a laser beam of fact and analysis."
—Clyde Wilson, professor of history, University of South Carolina, and editor, The John C. Calhoun Papers

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307559388
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/19/2009
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 125,931
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Thomas J. DiLorenzo is a professor of economics in the Sellinger School of Business and Management at Loyola college in Maryland. Specializing in economic history and political economy, he is the author of 11 books and over 70 articles in academic journals, and he is also widely published in such popular outlets as the Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, USA Today, National Review, Barron's, and numerous other national publications. He lives in Clarksville, Maryland.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Anyone who embarks on a study of Abraham Lincoln . . . must first come to terms with the Lincoln myth. The effort to penetrate the crust of legend that surrounds Lincoln . . . is both a formidable and intimidating task. Lincoln, it seems, requires special considerations that are denied to other figures. . . .
—Robert W. Johannsen, Lincoln, the South, and Slavery


More words have probably been written about Abraham Lincoln than about any other American political figure. According to one source, more than 16,000 books have been written on virtually every aspect of Lincoln's private and public life. But much of what has been written about Lincoln is myth, as Pulitzer Prize-winning Lincoln biographer David Donald noted in his 1961 book, Lincoln Reconsidered. Donald attempted to set at least part of the record straight; but, if anything, the literature on Lincoln has become even more dubious in the succeeding decades. Anyone who delves into this literature with an open mind and an interest in the truth cannot help but be struck by the fantastic lengths to which an entire industry of "Lincoln scholars" has gone to perpetuate countless myths and questionable interpretations of events. Many of these myths will be examined in this book.

In the eyes of many Americans, Lincoln remains the most important American political figure in history because the War between the States so fundamentally transformed the nature of American government. Before the war, government in America was the highly decentralized, limited government established by the founding fathers. The war created the highly centralized state that Americans labor under today. The purpose of American government was transformed from the defense of individual liberty to the quest for empire. As historian Richard Bensel has observed, any study of the origins of the American state should begin no earlier than 1865.

This aspect of the War between the States has always been downplayed or even ignored because of the emphasis that has been given to the important issue of slavery. Lincoln will forever be known as the Great Emancipator. But to understand the real Lincoln one must realize that during his twenty-eight years in politics before becoming president, he was almost single-mindedly devoted to an economic agenda that Henry Clay labeled "the American System." From the very first day in 1832 when he announced that he was running for the state legislature in Illinois, Lincoln expressed his devotion to the cause of protectionist tariffs, taxpayer subsidies for railroads and other corporations ("internal improvements"), and the nationalization of the money supply to help pay for the subsidies.

Lincoln labored mightily in the political trenches of the Whig and Republican parties for nearly three decades on behalf of this economic agenda, but with only minor success. The Constitution stood in the way of the Whig economic agenda as one American president after another vetoed internal improvement and national bank bills. Beginning with Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, Southern statesmen were always in the forefront of the opposition to this economic agenda. According to Lincoln scholar Mark Neely, Jr., Lincoln seethed in frustration for many years over how the Constitution stood in the way of his political ambitions.

Lincoln thought of himself as the heir to the Hamiltonian political tradition, which sought a much more centralized governmental system, one that would plan economic development with corporate subsidies financed by protectionist tariffs and the printing of money by the central government. This agenda achieved little political success during the first seventy years of the nation's existence, but was fully implemented during the first two years of the Lincoln administration. It was Lincoln's real agenda.

Roy Basler, the editor of Lincoln's Collected Works, has written that Lincoln barely ever mentioned the issue of slavery before 1854, and, even then, he did not seem sincere.Chapter 2 explores the doubts that many others have also expressed about Lincoln's supposed commitment to racial equality. The average American--who has not spent much time reading Lincoln's speeches but who has learned about him through the filter of the "Lincoln scholars"--will be surprised or even shocked by some of his words and actions. He stated over and over again that he was opposed to political or social equality of the races; he was not an abolitionist but denigrated them and distanced himself from them; and his primary means of dealing with racial problems was to attempt to colonize all American blacks in Africa, Haiti, Central America--anywhere but in the United States.

Chapter 2 also shows the extent to which Lincoln's views on race were consistent with those of the overwhelming majority of white Northerners, who discriminated against free blacks so severely that several states, including Lincoln's home state of Illinois, amended their constitutions to prohibit the emigration of black people into those states. Such facts raise serious questions about the extent to which racial injustice in the South motivated Lincoln and the Republican Party to wage a long, bloody war.

Chapter 3 poses a key question that almost no one has addressed in much detail: Why didn't Lincoln do what much of the rest of the world did in the nineteenth century and end slavery peacefully through compensated emancipation? Between 1800 and 1860, dozens of countries, including the entire British Empire, ended slavery peacefully; only in the United States was a war involved. It is very likely that most Americans, if they had been given the opportunity, would have gladly supported compensated emancipation as a means of ending slavery, as opposed to the almost unimaginable costs of the war: 620,000 deaths, thousands more maimed for life, and the near total destruction of approximately 40 percent of the nation's economy. Standardizing for today's population of some 280 million (compared to 30 million in 1865), this would be roughly the equivalent of 5 million deaths—about a hundred times the number of Americans who died in Vietnam.

Chapter 4 outlines Lincoln's real agenda: Henry Clay's "American System." For his entire political life Lincoln was devoted to Clay and Clay's economic agenda. The debate over this economic agenda was arguably the most important political debate during the first seventy years of the nation's existence. It involved the nation's most prominent statesmen and pitted the states' rights Jeffersonians against the centralizing Hamiltonians (who became Whigs and, later, Republicans). The violence of war finally ended the debate in 1861.

Chapter 5 discusses the long history of the right of secession in America, beginning with the Declaration of Independence, which is properly viewed as a "Declaration of Secession" from England. The New England Federalists attempted for more than a decade to secede from the Union after Thomas Jefferson was elected president in 1800. Until 1861 most commentators, North and South, took it for granted that states had a right to secede. This doctrine was even taught to the cadets at West Point, including almost all of the top military commanders on both sides of the conflict during the War between the States.

Lincoln's insistence that no such right existed has no basis whatsoever in history or fact. He essentially invented a new theory--that the federal government created the states, which were therefore not sovereign--and waged the bloodiest war in world history up to that point to "prove" himself right.

Chapter 6 deals with the odd nature of the claim by so many Lincoln scholars that Lincoln "saved" the Constitution by suspending constitutional liberty in the North for the entire duration of his administration. He supposedly had to destroy constitutional liberty in order to save it. Quite a few Lincoln scholars have labeled Lincoln a "dictator" for launching a military invasion without the consent of Congress; suspending habeas corpus; imprisoning thousands of Northern citizens without trial for merely opposing his policies; censoring all telegraph communication and imprisoning dozens of opposition newspaper publishers; nationalizing the railroads; using Federal troops to interfere with elections; confiscating firearms; and deporting an opposition member of Congress, Clement L. Vallandigham, after he opposed Lincoln's income tax proposal during a Democratic Party rally in Ohio.

Even though many have labeled these acts as "dictatorial," they usually add that Lincoln was a "good" or "benevolent" dictator. In reality, these precedents did irreparable harm to constitutional liberty in America. Some writers, such as historian Garry Wills and Columbia University law professor George P. Fletcher, have voiced their approval of Lincoln's assault on constitutional liberty because they believe that the Constitution stands in the way of their cherished goal of "egalitarianism." They openly celebrate the fact that Lincoln led the way in subverting constitutional government in America.

In addition to abandoning the Constitution, the Lincoln administration established another ominous precedent by deciding to abandon international law and the accepted moral code of civilized societies and wage war on civilians. General William Tecumseh Sherman announced that to secessionists--all of them, women and children included-- "death is mercy." Chapter 7 details how Lincoln abandoned the generally accepted rules of war, which had just been codified by the Geneva Convention of 1863. Lincoln famously micromanaged the war effort, and the burning of entire Southern towns was an essential feature of his war strategy.

Lincoln's political legacy is explored in chapter 8 in the context of how, during Reconstruction (1865-1877), the Republican Party essentially plundered the South for twelve more years by instituting puppet governments that constantly raised taxes but provided very few public benefits. Much of the money was simply stolen by Republican Party activists and their business supporters. The adult male ex-slaves were immediately given the right to vote in the South (even though blacks could not vote in several Northern states), while most white male Southerners were disenfranchised. Former Union General and newspaper editor Donn Piatt, a close Lincoln confidant, expressed the opinion that using the ex-slaves as political pawns in such a corrupt way poisoned race relations in the South beyond repair at a time when racial reconciliation should have been the primary objective.

Lincoln's policy of crushing dissenters with overwhelming military might was continued after the war with the federal government's eradication of the Plains Indians by many of the same generals who had guided the North's war effort (particularly Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan). The stated purpose of this campaign against the Plains Indians was to make way for the government-subsidized transcontinental railroads. The quest for empire had become the primary goal of government in America.

Chapter 9 describes Lincoln's economic legacy: the realization of Henry Clay's American System. Many (primarily) Southern statesmen had opposed this system for decades because they viewed it as nothing more than the corrupt "mercantilist" system that prevailed in England during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and they wanted no part of it. Indeed, many of the original colonists fled to America to escape from that very system. So powerful was Southern opposition to the American System that the Confederate Constitution outlawed both protectionist tariffs and internal improvement subsidies altogether. Lincoln's war created the "military-industrial complex" some ninety years before President Eisenhower coined the phrase.

The notorious corruption of the Grant administrations was an inevitable consequence of Lincoln's success in imposing the "American System" on the nation during the war. The "Era of Good Stealings," as one historian described it, proved that the concerns of Southern statesmen, from Thomas Jefferson to Jefferson Davis, were well founded.

Chapter 10 explains how the death of federalism--the decentralized system of government that was established by the founding fathers--was perhaps the biggest cost of Lincoln's war. Although Lincoln is generally credited with having "saved the Union," in reality he destroyed the idea of the Union as a voluntary association of states by forcing the Southern states to remain in the Union at gunpoint. Lincoln can be said to have saved the Union only in a geographical sense.

It was not to end slavery that Lincoln initiated an invasion of the South. He stated over and over again that his main purpose was to "save the Union," which is another way of saying that he wanted to abolish states' rights once and for all. He could have ended slavery just as dozens of other countries in the world did during the first sixty years of the nineteenth century, through compensated emancipation, but he never seriously attempted to do so. A war was not necessary to free the slaves, but it was necessary to destroy the most significant check on the powers of the central government: the right of secession.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword
Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 Lincoln's Opposition to Racial Equality 10
Ch. 3 Why Not Peaceful Emancipation? 33
Ch. 4 Lincoln's Real Agenda 54
Ch. 5 The Myth of Secession as "Treason" 85
Ch. 6 Was Lincoln a Dictator? 130
Ch. 7 Waging War on Civilians 171
Ch. 8 Reconstructing America: Lincoln's Political Legacy 200
Ch. 9 The Great Centralizer: Lincoln's Economic Legacy 233
Ch. 10 The Costs of Lincoln's War 257
Notes 281
Selected Bibliography 309
Index 317
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

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1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2011

    Excellent And accurate A must reaf A must read !

    Matches my 30 years of research from first edition sources at the time prior, during, and immediately after the war of northern aggression!

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2006

    A polemic, not history

    This book does not deserve even one star. Although it purports to be history, it is a grotesque distortion of the historical record. For example, DiLorenzo quotes primary source material which impugns Lincoln's motives. If you are not a historian and are unfamiliar with the sources, you would likely accept the conclusions that the author draws from the quotes he cites. However, if you take the time to check the sources, you find that DiLorenzo has lifted phrases out of context, and even attributed words to one person that were clearly uttered by another. It is clear that this book was written with one aim in mind: to 'prove' that Lincoln was a tyrant who started the Civil War in order to impose Whiggish economic policies on the South. Lacking proof, DiLorenzo is not above deliberate distortion and misinformation. In short, beware of 'history' written by those who have a political or economic axe to grind.

    8 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2005

    Not very good!

    Dr. Dilorenzo's work is the perfect example of suspect historical scholarship. His agenda is clear, which leads to his cherry-picking, and distorting, the record to support this agenda. The first thing one learns in a historiography class is not to do what Dr. Dilorenzo has done. It is a disappointing work.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2004

    Lincoln Exposed

    This book shows Lincolns real agenda. Which was a massive Federal Government, and the destruction of the opposing political power. Lincolns party-The New Republican party, which was formed in 1856- was a totally sectional party. The Republicans hated Southerners, and everything Southern. Lincoln was backed by the wealthiest Northern people. Lincoln spent his entire political career, advocating more power for the wealthy Northern people. As an Account, (PhD) the author breaks it down, in very clear terms to dollars and cents. Myths are not popular when they are exposed as 'myths'. This book is a good start to understanding 'The REAL Lincoln' I also recommend: 'Lincoln, the Man'--Edgar Lee Masters' 'Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation'-Mark Thornton and Robert B. Exelund Jr.;'Lincoln Takes Command'-John Shipley Tilley;-'The Real Lincoln'-Charles L.C. Minor; 'Forced Into Glory, Abraham Lincolns White Dream-Lerone Bennett Jr.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    what level some people will stoop to sell a book...

    I have been studying and researching Abraham Lincoln, along with the administration of both Union and Confederacy for 25yrs. This book is a prime example of how people can extract bits and pieces of documents and writings to fit their own personal agenda. What is even sadder are the people who will not research things like this for verification, I guess it's true, we are a generation that thrives on gossip, drama and laziness. Always looking for a way to destroy the very things that make us a great nation (which BTW is one nation, not divided thanks to Mr. Lincoln). Of course some people still believe in slavery and have no clue what the civil war was really about and exactly what happened during that time to the nation. I thank God we are one nation and not divided just to pacify greedy slave trader's and their selfish, inhumane cause. Read your history people, you may learn some well needed truths...

    6 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2010

    Every American should read this book!

    Like many others, I've always wondered to myself why Lincoln got a "free pass" in history because he led the Union to victory in the War between the states. I really never knew whom to blame for the countless loss of life on both sides of the war. Lincoln's uncomprimising quest for centralized government cost this country deeply and Lincoln has really never been held accountable for his ridiculous actions during his tenure in political office. I realize even more after this book that Lincoln is not someone I would have voted for now or then.

    Mr. DiLorenzo pulls no punches in this great history book. If you want the real truth no matter how uncomfortable it may make you feel, I suggest this book. If you refuse to see Lincoln on any platform other than a hero, you probably won't get past the first couple of chapters.

    With everything going on in Washington D.C. today, I think the states rights message pouring from this book is very timely.

    Great book that I hope my children will read and embrace one day.

    Danny Littleton
    Tupelo, MS

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2004

    Finally, the Truth

    Along with, 'When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession.' finally present Lincoln and the North's 'Watergate.' After the War the standard rule applied, which says 'The victor writes the history.' This viewpoint has preveiled for the last 138 years, but is starting to be challenged. If you as an adult, read how a standard High School textbook treats the War you would be shocked. There is no balanced treatment there, so only in books like these can we get the -- rest of the story.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2002

    A real eye opener!

    I¿m always amused when professional historians suggest that lay readers should not waste their time reading this or that book. This is like basing your movie viewing preference on the local movie critic¿s opinion! I would suggest that you read as many Lincoln books as you please (by historians - if you wish) and then read DiLorenzo¿s book last. DiLorenzo is a libertarian and an economist, so it is only natural that the book is written from that perspective. You may not agree with his conclusions, but the book is well written, entertaining and thoroughly documented. A free and active mind should be open to all thoughts and perspectives on any given topic, how else can you make an informed decision about any subject? So what, if Lincoln was not the saint historians have made him out to be ¿ get over it!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2008

    A real eye opener. History as it really was.

    If you would like to learn some real history, and not the myths, half-truths, and out-and-out lies that our federal government chooses to perpetuate through the school systems, this is a must read. If you would still like to believe that Santa puts the presents under the tree, and NOT Mommy and Daddy, don't bother. <BR/><BR/>Read the quotes in the book, and ask someone who said them. My guess is many people will say the head of the KKK. Read about the things that went on during the Civil War, then ask someone what country they happened in. They will probably say Iran or Iraq. <BR/><BR/>Read the book and learn where all the stuff that's happening today in this country really started.<BR/><BR/>WARNING: If you can't keep an open mind, or if the government has you completely brainwashed about "Honest"Abe, DO NOT read this book. However, if you would like to learn about one of the darkest periods in the history of our country, this is the book for you.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2006

    Historical Inaccuracies

    While in general agreement with Professor DiLorenzo¿s assessment that Lincoln was a ruthless conniving politician who never let such small details as the truth and the Constitution stand in his way, there are numerous historical inaccuracies that make one wonder if DiLorenzo¿s comment on page 263 directed toward Gary Gallagher concerning ¿shoddy scholarship¿ does not apply equally to this work. For example: Pg 178: ¿After suffering repeated battlefield defeats in the Shenandoah Valley at the hands to Confederate General Thomas ¿Stonewall¿Jackonhs, Union General John Pope¿.¿ Jackson¿s opponents in the Valley campaign of 1962 were Union Generals Banks, Milroy, and Fremont. Jackson and Pope met only at the confederate victory of 2nd Manassas. Pg 226: speaking of General Grant ¿¿including former Confederate General James Longstreet, whom he appointed federal railroad commissioner¿¿ On March 10. 1869 Grant nominated Longstreet to the position of Surveyor of Customs for the port on New Orleans not railroad commissioner. Also on pg 226 ¿It was Longstreet who introduced Grant to his future wife, Longstreet¿s cousin.¿ While Grant and Longstreet were very close friend, Grant met his wife, Julia, through her brother Frederic Dent, who was Grant¿s roommate during his final year at West Point.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2004

    The truth has come out

    Great book to see the other side of the story on Lincoln. Great detail and lots of facts.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2002

    Positively Stunning

    Although the information Dr. Di Lorenzo presents is not new, the clarity of its presentation amidst constant and forceful reminders of the Founders' own views and ideas about the relationship between the Federal government, the States and the Citizenry leaves no doubt that Mr. Lincoln turned the American Foundation on its proverbial ear: the ineffectual and bloated self-importance of today's Washington establishment is, along with the rather tangential (for Lincoln) good of abolition, one of the other important Lincolnian legacies. It is a shock to the system to realize that the haze of idolatry in which the mythical Lincoln has been wrapped for so many years has served to conceal a concept of government that was so completely alien to the Founders' original intent, a concept that because of the legacy of Mr. Lincoln's dictatorial behavior has come to be viewed as an ideal. Having read The Real Lincoln, one understands as never before why so many totalitarian 'leaders' have held the 16th President in such high esteem. Messrs. Davis and Lee (was there any doubt about the Honor of General Lee?) are looking better and better!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2007

    How Lincoln Began Federal Government Tyranny

    I always wondered what historical precedent gave birth to the federal tyranny Americans suffer under today. Like others, I assumed it began with FDR. How shocking to discover that the first traitor to the American presidency was Abraham Lincoln! Setting his rhetorical genius aside, this rail-splitting ascendant from the 'common man' is clearly responsible for the strong hand of government that labors unceasingly to erode what little remains of our constitutional rights and protections today. For those who wish to smear DiLorenzo's scholarship, I ask you: Did Lincoln suspend habeas corpus - an egregious offense to all who proclaim their right to due process? Did Lincoln jail NORTHERN editors and publishers for their objections to the war, and for agreeing that the Southern states had every RIGHT to secede for their legitimate grievances to punitive government tariffs? The list of abuses is long and difficult not to get upset about, but even apologists for Lincoln agree that these unconstitutional acts did occur. The book explains Lincoln's motives and there is nothing unreasonable about DiLorenzo's conclusions. I suggest that all truth-loving Americans read the book for themselves to find out what really happened. There are pages and pages of footnotes and references to research if desired. Reading this book will better explain how Lincoln established the precedent for ignoring the constraints of the constitution on executive power 'as wisely incorporated by our brilliant Founding Fathers'. This explains how the abuse of power by government over the American people continues to this day. Find out why America as a nation lost much after the South lost their War of Independence. If the first step to defeating tyranny is to become better informed, then pick up this book and read it!

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2004

    Lincoln's Descent from America¿s Pedestal

    Mr. DiLorenzo has written an absolutely riveting, well-researched book that, at base, takes ¿Honest¿ Abe to task for what he actually did and said; he does not, like so many professional myth-maker/historians, give Lincoln a mulligan. Mr. DiLorenzo argues, very convincingly, that Abe Lincoln planned for and was the culmination of the Hamiltonian sect¿s wish for a powerful, centralized government; the embodiment of everything the Founders feared the federal government could become. He painstakingly details Lincoln¿s assault on the Constitution, his disregard for human rights, his provocation of the South into a war, and his ¿spectacular lie¿ that no state in our voluntary union had a right to secede. Rather than portray Lincoln as a saintly myth, Mr. DiLorenzo instead looks at the man¿s words and actions ¿ and finds him to be one of the worst presidents this country has ever had. A tyrannical, racist, power hungry, corrupt politician through and through, the damage Lincoln inflicted on the political structure of these United States was permanent. If even half of what this book posits is true, the best thing Abe Lincoln ever did on behalf of freedom was to take in a play at Ford¿s Theatre.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2002

    1864 Election

    Five stars says it all! Makes one ponder that we would probably be two nations today if JWB had killed Lincoln before the '64 election.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2002

    Could Another Lincoln Become President?

    The horror of this book is that another Lincoln could arise in the future, and there might not be another Booth. How have the Lincoln apologists succeeded so well in blinding us to the real career of this madman? Everyone should read this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating

    Worth the time and money to read; get the perspective from the other side of Lincoln. I enjoyed the thesis presented.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2005

    A-historical

    This author does what Lincoln did not- stacks the deck to fulfill a preconceived notion. What if the Southern states had never seceeded (Remember, South Carolina did before Lincoln was even President)? According to the author, Lincoln would have bulldozed them anyway. Lincolm WAS a revolutionary, but like all revolutionaries they achieve more than they expected and often in a different form. Lincoln's aims evolved throughout the war, he tested waters and moved the nation towards a more stable future, including several that the author posits. The war gave him the opportunity, but he did not start the war for economic reasons. This shortcut to thinking falls in with the modernday 'no blood for oil' crowd. This author is just Slightly more sophisticated-slightly.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2003

    The book is not a balanced treatment of Lincoln

    If you want to find out everything negative about Abraham Lincoln, this book is the place to look. But it is not a balanced treatment of the subject. For instance it faults Lincoln for not arranging for gradual emancipation of slaves but does not give him credit for the heroic efforts that he made for compensated emancipation. This is hard to understand, because some of Lincoln's most famous quotes come from his congressional message in support of compensated emancipation. Overall the book is just a rant. It is not a scholarly contribution to the works on Lincoln.

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    What a great way to sell a book!

    With all that has been written about Lincoln, what better way to sell another Lincoln book than to pump up the negative and ignore the positive. Sorry. This man does not get my vote.

    I like Santa Claus, and all he represents. Santa, like Lincoln, ain't perfect, but at that special time when he is needed, he's the right man for the job.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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