James McPherson has emerged as one of America's finest historians. Battle Cry of Freedom, his Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the Civil War, was a national bestseller that Hugh Brogan, in The New York Times Book Review, called "history writing of the highest order." In that volume, McPherson gathered in the broad sweep of events, the political, social, and cultural forces at work during the Civil War era. Now, in Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution, he offers a series of thoughtful and engaging essays on aspects of Lincoln and the war that have rarely been discussed in depth.
McPherson again displays his keen insight and sterling prose as he examines several critical themes in American history. He looks closely at the President's role as Commander-in-Chief of the Union forces, showing how Lincoln forged a national military strategy for victory. He explores the importance of Lincoln's great rhetorical skills, uncovering howthrough parables and figurative languagehe was uniquely able to communicate both the purpose of the war and a new meaning of liberty to the people of the North. In another section, McPherson examines the Civil War as a Second American Revolution, describing how the Republican Congress elected in 1860 passed an astonishing blitz of new laws (rivaling the first hundred days of the New Deal), and how the war not only destroyed the social structure of the old South, but radically altered the balance of power in America, ending 70 years of Southern power in the national government.
The Civil War was the single most transforming and defining experience in American history, and Abraham Lincoln remains the most important figure in the pantheon of our mythology. These graceful essays, written by one of America's leading historians, offer fresh and unusual perspectives on both.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press, USA|
|Product dimensions:||8.00(w) x 5.38(h) x 0.40(d)|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a book I was required to read for an American History college course, but I'm glad it was mandatory, as I really enjoyed reading it, and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in American history. McPherson is an accessible writer, very clear and succinct, whose style is anything but dry and "textbook-like." For the definitive overview of the Civil War one might read his "Battle Cry of Freedom," but this small volume is worthy reading, presenting the intriguing idea that the Civil War was really "the second American revolution." It was enlightening and absorbing, and as a small aside, it actually brought me together with my new beau, because when he discovered I was reading a book by his favorite author, we compared notes, and the rest was. . .see what reading can lead to? ! Thanks, Mr. McPherson.
It's an awesome book that explains the life of Abraham Lincoln in a very interesting way. It's definely a good book for anyone interested in this amazing president.
This book takes a different look at Abraham Lincoln. It shows how the Civil War completely changed American society; not just by ending slavery, but by ending a balance of power that had existed between the North and South, agriculture & industry. The South did not fully participate in running the country for years after the war, and the North enacted laws that were favorable to industry. This country would be totally different if the Civil War had not happened. I wish I had read this book years ago.