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Tried by War Book by James M. McPherson

Tried by War Book
  • Author : James M. McPherson
  • Publisher : Penguin
  • Release Date : 2008-10-07
  • Category: History
  • Pages : 352
  • ISBN Code: 1440652457
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Summary: The Pulitzer Prize–winning author reveals how Lincoln won the Civil War and invented the role of commander in chief as we know it As we celebrate the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, this study by preeminent, bestselling Civil War historian James M. McPherson provides a rare, fresh take on one of the most enigmatic figures in American history. Tried by War offers a revelatory (and timely) portrait of leadership during the greatest crisis our nation has ever endured. Suspenseful and inspiring, this is the story of how Lincoln, with almost no previous military experience before entering the White House, assumed the powers associated with the role of commander in chief, and through his strategic insight and will to fight changed the course of the war and saved the Union.

Walt Whitman's America Book by David S. Reynolds

Walt Whitman's America Book
  • Author : David S. Reynolds
  • Publisher : Vintage
  • Release Date : 2011-05-04
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Pages : 704
  • ISBN Code: 0307761924
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Summary: Winner of the Bancroft Prize and the Ambassador Book Award and Finalist for the National for the Book Critics Circle Award In his poetry Walt Whitman set out to encompass all of America and in so doing heal its deepening divisions. This magisterial biography demonstrates the epic scale of his achievement, as well as the dreams and anxieties that impelled it, for it places the poet securely within the political and cultural context of his age. Combing through the full range of Whitman's writing, David Reynolds shows how Whitman gathered inspiration from every stratum of nineteenth-century American life: the convulsions of slavery and depression; the raffish dandyism of the Bowery "b'hoys"; the exuberant rhetoric of actors, orators, and divines. We see how Whitman reconciled his own sexuality with contemporary social mores and how his energetic courtship of the public presaged the vogues of advertising and celebrity. Brilliantly researched, captivatingly told, Walt Whitman's America is a triumphant work of scholarship that breathes new life into the biographical genre.

Lincoln in American Memory Book by Merrill D. Peterson

Lincoln in American Memory Book
  • Author : Merrill D. Peterson
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Release Date : 1995-06-01
  • Category: History
  • Pages : 496
  • ISBN Code: 9780198023043
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Summary: Lincoln's death, like his life, was an event of epic proportions. When the president was struck down at his moment of triumph, writes Merrill Peterson, "sorrow--indescribable sorrow" swept the nation. After lying in state in Washington, Lincoln's body was carried by a special funeral train to Springfield, Illinois, stopping in major cities along the way; perhaps a million people viewed the remains as memorial orations rang out and the world chorused its sincere condolences. It was the apotheosis of the martyred President--the beginning of the transformation of a man into a mythic hero. In Lincoln in American Memory, historian Merrill Peterson provides a fascinating history of Lincoln's place in the American imagination from the hour of his death to the present. In tracing the changing image of Lincoln through time, this wide-ranging account offers insight into the evolution and struggles of American politics and society--and into the character of Lincoln himself. Westerners, Easterners, even Southerners were caught up in the idealization of the late President, reshaping his memory and laying claim to his mantle, as his widow, son, memorial builders, and memorabilia collectors fought over his visible legacy. Peterson also looks at the complex responses of blacks to the memory of Lincoln, as they moved from exultation at the end of slavery to the harsh reality of free life amid deep poverty and segregation; at more than one memorial event for the great emancipator, the author notes, blacks were excluded. He makes an engaging examination of the flood of reminiscences and biographies, from Lincoln's old law partner William H. Herndon to Carl Sandburg and beyond. Serious historians were late in coming to the topic; for decades the myth-makers sought to shape the image of the hero President to suit their own agendas. He was made a voice of prohibition, a saloon-keeper, an infidel, a devout Christian, the first Bull Moose Progressive, a military blunderer and (after the First World War) a military genius, a white supremacist (according to D.W. Griffith and other Southern admirers), and a touchstone for the civil rights movement. Through it all, Peterson traces five principal images of Lincoln: the savior of the Union, the great emancipator, man of the people, first American, and self-made man. In identifying these archetypes, he tells us much not only of Lincoln but of our own identity as a people.

Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen Book by Rae Katherine Eighmey

Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen Book
  • Author : Rae Katherine Eighmey
  • Publisher : Smithsonian Institution
  • Release Date : 2014-02-04
  • Category: Cooking
  • Pages : 224
  • ISBN Code: 1588344606
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Summary: Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen is a culinary biography unlike any before. The very assertion of the title--that Abraham Lincoln cooked--is fascinating and true. It's an insight into the everyday life of one of our nation's favorite and most esteemed presidents and a way to experience flavors and textures of the past. Eighmey solves riddles such as what type of barbecue could be served to thousands at political rallies when paper plates and napkins didn't exist, and what gingerbread recipe could have been Lincoln's childhood favorite when few families owned cookie cutters and he could carry the cookies in his pocket. Through Eighmey's eyes and culinary research and experiments--including sleuthing for Lincoln's grocery bills in Springfield ledgers and turning a backyard grill into a cast-iron stove--the foods that Lincoln enjoyed, cooked, or served are translated into modern recipes so that authentic meals and foods of 1820-1865 are possible for home cooks. Feel free to pull up a chair to Lincoln's table.

With Malice Toward None Book by Stephen B. Oates

With Malice Toward None Book
  • Author : Stephen B. Oates
  • Publisher : Harper Collins
  • Release Date : 2009-06-30
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Pages : 544
  • ISBN Code: 0061952249
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Summary: “Full, fair, and accurate. . . . Certainly the most objective biography of Lincoln ever written.” —Pulitzer Prize-winner David Herbert Donald, New York Times Book Review From preeminent Civil War historian Stephen B. Oates comes the book the Washington Post hails as “the standard one-volume biography of Lincoln.” Oates’ With Malice Toward None is recognized as the seminal biography of the Sixteenth President, by one of America’s most prominent historians.

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery Book by Eric Foner

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery Book
  • Author : Eric Foner
  • Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
  • Release Date : 2011-09-26
  • Category: History
  • Pages : 448
  • ISBN Code: 9780393080827
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Summary: “A masterwork [by] the preeminent historian of the Civil War era.”—Boston Globe Selected as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, this landmark work gives us a definitive account of Lincoln's lifelong engagement with the nation's critical issue: American slavery. A master historian, Eric Foner draws Lincoln and the broader history of the period into perfect balance. We see Lincoln, a pragmatic politician grounded in principle, deftly navigating the dynamic politics of antislavery, secession, and civil war. Lincoln's greatness emerges from his capacity for moral and political growth.

Lincoln’s First Crisis Book by William Bruce Johnson

Lincoln’s First Crisis Book
  • Author : William Bruce Johnson
  • Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield
  • Release Date : 2020-06-15
  • Category: History
  • Pages : 448
  • ISBN Code: 0811769364
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Summary: Lincoln’s First Crisis concerns five of the most consequential months in American history: December 1860 through April 1861. When Abraham Lincoln swore his oath as president, the United States was disintegrating. Seven states had seceded, and as many as eight seemed poised to join them, depending upon how the new president handled the secession crisis and its flashpoint: Fort Sumter in South Carolina, the heart of the rebellion. The fate of the republic hung in the balance. The Sumter crisis has been hotly debated and deeply researched for more than 150 years. In this thoughtful reassessment, William Bruce Johnson combines thorough research and the latest historiography with a litigator’s methodical analysis and a storyteller’s eye for meaningful detail. Shortly after taking office, Lincoln decided upon a plan to avoid war with the seceded states while keeping his inaugural promise to maintain a Union military presence in the South. Because he chose not to reveal his plan to anyone, rumors soon spread that he was simply afraid to act. One source of such rumors was Lincoln’s secretary of state, William Henry Seward. Resentful that Lincoln had deprived him of the Republican nomination and convinced that Lincoln lacked the political sophistication necessary to deal with the secession crisis, Seward decided to negotiate with the Confederacy on his own and in secret. General Winfield Scott, meanwhile, the Union’s most senior military officer, had for a decade depended upon Seward for political advice, and now considered himself under orders from Seward, not the president. Johnson traces how Seward and Scott sabotaged Lincoln’s plan. From this account, from his examination of various personalities (such as that of Fort Sumter’s commander, Major Robert Anderson), and from his granular research into aspects of the Order of Battle in Charleston, Johnson has here constructed a new narrative of this crucial period, culminating in a new theory of how and why the Civil War began as it did, and how and why, if the new president’s orders had been properly carried out by Seward and Scott, it might have been averted.

Lincoln on the Verge Book by Ted Widmer

Lincoln on the Verge Book
  • Author : Ted Widmer
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Release Date : 2020-04-07
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Pages : 624
  • ISBN Code: 1476739455
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Summary: WINNER OF THE LINCOLN FORUM BOOK PRIZE “A Lincoln classic...superb.” ­—The Washington Post “A book for our time.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin Lincoln on the Verge tells the dramatic story of America’s greatest president discovering his own strength to save the Republic. As a divided nation plunges into the deepest crisis in its history, Abraham Lincoln boards a train for Washington and his inauguration—an inauguration Southerners have vowed to prevent. Lincoln on the Verge charts these pivotal thirteen days of travel, as Lincoln discovers his power, speaks directly to the public, and sees his country up close. Drawing on new research, this riveting account reveals the president-elect as a work in progress, showing him on the verge of greatness, as he foils an assassination attempt, forges an unbreakable bond with the American people, and overcomes formidable obstacles in order to take his oath of office.

Waking Giant Book by David S. Reynolds

Waking Giant Book
  • Author : David S. Reynolds
  • Publisher : Harper Collins
  • Release Date : 2009-10-06
  • Category: History
  • Pages : 480
  • ISBN Code: 0061971448
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Summary: Waking Giant is a brilliant, definitive history of America’s vibrant and tumultuous rise during the Jacksonian era from David S. Reynolds, the Bancroft Prize-winning author of Walt Whitman’s America. Casting fresh light on Andrew Jackson, who redefined the presidency, along with John Quincy Adams and James K. Polk, who expanded the nation’s territory and strengthened its position internationally, Reynolds captures the turbulence of a democracy caught in the throes of the controversy over slavery, the rise of capitalism, and the birth of urbanization.

Lincoln Book by David Herbert Donald

Lincoln Book
  • Author : David Herbert Donald
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Release Date : 2011-12-20
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Pages : 720
  • ISBN Code: 1439126283
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Summary: A masterful work by Pulitzer Prize–winning author David Herbert Donald, Lincoln is a stunning portrait of Abraham Lincoln’s life and presidency. Donald brilliantly depicts Lincoln’s gradual ascent from humble beginnings in rural Kentucky to the ever-expanding political circles in Illinois, and finally to the presidency of a country divided by civil war. Donald goes beyond biography, illuminating the gradual development of Lincoln’s character, chronicling his tremendous capacity for evolution and growth, thus illustrating what made it possible for a man so inexperienced and so unprepared for the presidency to become a great moral leader. In the most troubled of times, here was a man who led the country out of slavery and preserved a shattered Union—in short, one of the greatest presidents this country has ever seen.

Every Drop of Blood Book by Edward Achorn

Every Drop of Blood Book
  • Author : Edward Achorn
  • Publisher : Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Release Date : 2020-03-03
  • Category: History
  • Pages : N.A
  • ISBN Code: 080214876X
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Summary: A brilliantly conceived and vividly drawn story—Washington, D.C. on the eve of Abraham Lincoln’s historic second inaugural address as the lens through which to understand all the complexities of the Civil War By March 4, 1865, the Civil War had slaughtered more than 700,000 Americans and left intractable wounds on the nation. After a morning of rain-drenched fury, tens of thousands crowded Washington’s Capitol grounds that day to see Abraham Lincoln take the oath for a second term. As the sun emerged, Lincoln rose to give perhaps the greatest inaugural address in American history, stunning the nation by arguing, in a brief 701 words, that both sides had been wrong, and that the war’s unimaginable horrors—every drop of blood spilled—might well have been God’s just verdict on the national sin of slavery. Edward Achorn reveals the nation’s capital on that momentous day—with its mud, sewage, and saloons, its prostitutes, spies, reporters, social-climbing spouses and power-hungry politicians—as a microcosm of all the opposing forces that had driven the country apart. A host of characters, unknown and famous, had converged on Washington—from grievously wounded Union colonel Selden Connor in a Washington hospital and the embarrassingly drunk new vice president, Andrew Johnson, to poet-journalist Walt Whitman; from soldiers’ advocate Clara Barton and African American leader and Lincoln critic-turned-admirer Frederick Douglass (who called the speech “a sacred effort”) to conflicted actor John Wilkes Booth—all swirling around the complex figure of Lincoln. In indelible scenes, Achorn vividly captures the frenzy in the nation’s capital at this crucial moment in America’s history and the tension-filled hope and despair afflicting the country as a whole, soon to be heightened by Lincoln's assassination. His story offers new understanding of our great national crisis, and echoes down the decades to resonate in our own time.

Abraham Lincoln Book by Michael Burlingame

Abraham Lincoln Book
  • Author : Michael Burlingame
  • Publisher : JHU Press
  • Release Date : 2013-04-01
  • Category: History
  • Pages : 1048
  • ISBN Code: 1421410680
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Summary: Burlingame interprets Lincoln’s private life, discussing his marriage to Mary Todd, the untimely death of his son Willie to disease in 1862, and his recurrent anguish over the enormous human costs of the war.

The Sum of Our Dreams Book by Louis P. Masur

The Sum of Our Dreams Book
  • Author : Louis P. Masur
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Release Date : 2020-08-04
  • Category: History
  • Pages : 432
  • ISBN Code: 0190692588
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Summary: In The Sum of Our Dreams, Louis P. Masur offers a sweeping yet compact history of America from its beginnings to the current moment. For general readers seeking an accessible, single-volume account, one that challenges but does not overwhelm, and which distills and connects the major events and figures in the country's past in a single narrative, here is that book. Evoking Barack Obama's belief that America remains the "sum of its dreams," Masur locates the origin of those dreams-of freedom, equality, and opportunity-and traces their progress chronologically, illuminating the nation's struggle over time to articulate and fulfill their promise. Moving from the Colonial Era, to the Revolutionary Period, the Early Republic, and through the Civil War, Masur turns his attention to Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, the Progressive Age, World War One, the Great Depression, World War Two, the Cold War, Civil Rights, Vietnam, and Watergate, and then laying out clearly and concisely what underlies the divisiveness that has characterized American civic life over the last forty years-and now more than ever. Above all, however, Masur lets the story of American tell itself. Inspired by James Baldwin's observation that "American history is longer, larger, more beautiful and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it," he expands our notion of that history while identifying its individual threads. The Sum of Our Dreams will be the new go-to single volume for anyone wanting a foundational understanding of the nation's past, and its present.

Churchill's Empire Book by Richard Toye

Churchill's Empire Book
  • Author : Richard Toye
  • Publisher : Pan Macmillan
  • Release Date : 2011-02-28
  • Category: History
  • Pages : 524
  • ISBN Code: 0330536044
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Summary: ‘I have not become the King’s First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.’ These notorious words, spoken by Churchill in 1942, encapsulate his image as an imperial die-hard, implacably opposed to colonial freedom – a reputation that has prevailed, and which Churchill willingly embraced to further his policies. Yet, as a youthful minister at the Colonial Office before World War I, his political opponents had seen him as a Little Englander and a danger to the Empire. Placing Churchill in the context of his times and his contemporaries, Richard Toye evaluates his position on key Imperial questions and examines what was conventional about Churchill’s opinions and what was unique. Combining a lightness of touch and entertaining storytelling with expert and insightful analysis, the result is a vivid and dynamic account of a remarkable man and an extraordinary era. 'Wonderfully informative' Daily Telegraph 'Excellent' Spectator ‘Mature, intelligent, thoughtful, judicious’ Washington Times ‘One of Britain's smartest young historians’ Independent

The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution Book by James Oakes

The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution Book
  • Author : James Oakes
  • Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
  • Release Date : 2021-01-12
  • Category: History
  • Pages : 288
  • ISBN Code: 1324005866
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Summary: An award-winning scholar uncovers the guiding principles of Lincoln’s antislavery strategies. The long and turning path to the abolition of American slavery has often been attributed to the equivocations and inconsistencies of antislavery leaders, including Lincoln himself. But James Oakes’s brilliant history of Lincoln’s antislavery strategies reveals a striking consistency and commitment extending over many years. The linchpin of antislavery for Lincoln was the Constitution of the United States. Lincoln adopted the antislavery view that the Constitution made freedom the rule in the United States, slavery the exception. Where federal power prevailed, so did freedom. Where state power prevailed, that state determined the status of slavery, and the federal government could not interfere. It would take state action to achieve the final abolition of American slavery. With this understanding, Lincoln and his antislavery allies used every tool available to undermine the institution. Wherever the Constitution empowered direct federal action—in the western territories, in the District of Columbia, over the slave trade—they intervened. As a congressman in 1849 Lincoln sponsored a bill to abolish slavery in Washington, DC. He reentered politics in 1854 to oppose what he considered the unconstitutional opening of the territories to slavery by the Kansas–Nebraska Act. He attempted to persuade states to abolish slavery by supporting gradual abolition with compensation for slaveholders and the colonization of free Blacks abroad. President Lincoln took full advantage of the antislavery options opened by the Civil War. Enslaved people who escaped to Union lines were declared free. The Emancipation Proclamation, a military order of the president, undermined slavery across the South. It led to abolition by six slave states, which then joined the coalition to affect what Lincoln called the "King’s cure": state ratification of the constitutional amendment that in 1865 finally abolished slavery.

I Am Abraham: A Novel of Lincoln and the Civil War Book by Jerome Charyn

I Am Abraham: A Novel of Lincoln and the Civil War Book
  • Author : Jerome Charyn
  • Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
  • Release Date : 2014-02-03
  • Category: Fiction
  • Pages : 464
  • ISBN Code: 0871407728
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Summary: Jerome Charyn’s “daring” and “memorable” (The New Yorker) historical novel renders the inner life of our sixteenth president like never before. This unforgettable portrait of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War effortlessly mixes humor with Shakespearean-like tragedy to create an achingly human portrait of the sixteenth president. Charyn conducts an orchestra of historical figures and fictional extras centered around a profoundly moral but troubled commander in chief whose relationship with his Ophelia-like wife and his sons—Robert, Willie, and Tad—is explored with penetrating psychological insight and the utmost compassion. Seized by melancholy and imbued with an unfaltering sense of human worth, Charyn’s President Lincoln comes to vibrant, three-dimensional life in a haunting portrait we have rarely seen in historical fiction.

His Very Best Book by Jonathan Alter

His Very Best Book
  • Author : Jonathan Alter
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Release Date : 2020-09-29
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Pages : 800
  • ISBN Code: 1501125559
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Summary: From one of America’s most-respected journalists and modern historians comes the first full-length biography of Jimmy Carter, the thirty-ninth president of the United States and Nobel Prize–winning humanitarian. Jonathan Alter tells the epic story of an enigmatic man of faith and his improbable journey from barefoot boy to global icon. Alter paints an intimate and surprising portrait of the only president since Thomas Jefferson who can fairly be called a Renaissance Man, a complex figure—ridiculed and later revered—with a piercing intelligence, prickly intensity, and biting wit beneath the patented smile. Here is a moral exemplar for our times, a flawed but underrated president of decency and vision who was committed to telling the truth to the American people. Growing up in one of the meanest counties in the Jim Crow South, Carter is the only American president who essentially lived in three centuries: his early life on the farm in the 1920s without electricity or running water might as well have been in the nineteenth; his presidency put him at the center of major events in the twentieth; and his efforts on conflict resolution and global health set him on the cutting edge of the challenges of the twenty-first. Drawing on fresh archival material and five years of extensive access to Carter and his entire family, Alter traces how he evolved from a timid, bookish child—raised mostly by a black woman farmhand—into an ambitious naval nuclear engineer writing passionate, never-before-published love letters from sea to his wife and full partner, Rosalynn; a peanut farmer and civic leader whose guilt over staying silent during the civil rights movement and not confronting the white terrorism around him helped power his quest for racial justice at home and abroad; an obscure, born-again governor whose brilliant 1976 campaign demolished the racist wing of the Democratic Party and took him from zero percent to the presidency; a stubborn outsider who failed politically amid the bad economy of the 1970s and the seizure of American hostages in Iran but succeeded in engineering peace between Israel and Egypt, amassing a historic environmental record, moving the government from tokenism to diversity, setting a new global standard for human rights, and normalizing relations with China among other unheralded and far-sighted achievements. After leaving office, Carter eradicated diseases, built houses for the poor, and taught Sunday school into his mid-nineties. This engrossing, monumental biography will change our understanding of perhaps the most misunderstood president in American history.

Just in Time, Abraham Lincoln Book by Patricia Polacco

Just in Time, Abraham Lincoln Book
  • Author : Patricia Polacco
  • Publisher : Penguin
  • Release Date : 2011-01-06
  • Category: Juvenile Fiction
  • Pages : 48
  • ISBN Code: 1101646985
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Summary: Two kids. One mysterious doorway to the Civil War. Michael and Derek don’t expect the adventure of a lifetime while visiting a Civil War museum with their grandmother. But when the mysterious museum keeper invites them to play a special history game, they suddenly find themselves walking through a door into a very realistic depiction of 1862. It’s only the beginning of their journey as they are whisked away by a carriage to nearby Antietam only days after a violent battle. There, they see for themselves the tragic aftermath of war and come face-to-face with Abraham Lincoln. Suddenly, the boys begin to wonder—is this all real? Patricia Polacco brings history to vibrant life and uses facts and primary sources to open a doorway through time into a pivotal moment of the Civil War.

The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln Book by C.A. Tripp

The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln Book
  • Author : C.A. Tripp
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Release Date : 2005-01-11
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Pages : 384
  • ISBN Code: 1439104042
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Summary: The late C. A. Tripp, a highly regarded sex researcher and colleague of Alfred Kinsey, and author of the runaway bestseller The Homosexual Matrix, devoted the last ten years of his life to an exhaustive study of Abraham Lincoln's writings and of scholarship about Lincoln, in search of hidden keys to his character. In The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln, completed just weeks before he died, Tripp offers a full examination of Lincoln's inner life and relationships that, as Dr. Jean Baker argues in the Introduction, "will define the issue for years to come." Throughout this riveting work, new details are revealed about Lincoln's relations with a number of men. Long-standing myths are debunked convincingly -- in particular, the myth that Lincoln's one true love was Ann Rutledge, who died tragically young. Ultimately, Tripp argues that Lincoln's unorthodox loves and friendships were tied to his maverick beliefs about religion, slavery, and even ethics and morals. As Tripp argues, Lincoln was an "invert": a man who consistently turned convention on its head, who drew his values not from the dominant conventions of society, but from within. For years, a whisper campaign has mounted about Abraham Lincoln, focusing on his intimate relationships. He was famously awkward around single women. He was engaged once before Mary Todd, but his fiancée called off the marriage on the grounds that he was "lacking in smaller attentions." His marriage to Mary was troubled. Meanwhile, throughout his adult life, he enjoyed close relationships with a number of men. He shared a bed with oshua Speed for four years as a young man, and -- as Tripp details here -- he shared a bed with an army captain while serving in the White House, when Mrs. Lincoln was away. As one Washington socialite commented in her diary, "What stuff!" This study reaches far beyond a brief about Lincoln's sexuality: it is an attempt to make sense of the whole man, as never before. It includes an Introduction by Jean Baker, biographer of Mary Todd Lincoln, and an Afterword containing reactions by two Lincoln scholars and one clinical psychologist and longtime acquaintance of C.A. Tripp. As Michael Chesson explains in one of the Afterword essays, "Lincoln was different from other men, and he knew it. More telling, virtually every man who knew him at all well, long before he rose to prominence, recognized it. In fact, the men who claimed to know him best, if honest, usually admitted that they did not understand him." Perhaps only now, when conventions of intimacy are so different, so open, and so much less rigid than in Lincoln's day, can Lincoln be fully understood.

Abe Book by David S. Reynolds

Abe Book
  • Author : David S. Reynolds
  • Publisher : Penguin
  • Release Date : 2020-09-29
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Pages : 1088
  • ISBN Code: 0698154517
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Summary: One of the Wall Street Journal's Ten Best Books of the Year | A Washington Post Notable Book | A Christian Science Monitor and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2020 Winner of the Gilder Lehrman Abraham Lincoln Prize and the Abraham Lincoln Institute Book Award "A marvelous cultural biography that captures Lincoln in all his historical fullness. . . . using popular culture in this way, to fill out the context surrounding Lincoln, is what makes Mr. Reynolds's biography so different and so compelling . . . Where did the sympathy and compassion expressed in [Lincoln's] Second Inaugural—'With malice toward none; with charity for all'—come from? This big, wonderful book provides the richest cultural context to explain that, and everything else, about Lincoln." —Gordon Wood, Wall Street Journal From one of the great historians of nineteenth-century America, a revelatory and enthralling new biography of Lincoln, many years in the making, that brings him to life within his turbulent age David S. Reynolds, author of the Bancroft Prize-winning cultural biography of Walt Whitman and many other iconic works of nineteenth century American history, understands the currents in which Abraham Lincoln swam as well as anyone alive. His magisterial biography Abe is the product of full-body immersion into the riotous tumult of American life in the decades before the Civil War. It was a country growing up and being pulled apart at the same time, with a democratic popular culture that reflected the country's contradictions. Lincoln's lineage was considered auspicious by Emerson, Whitman, and others who prophesied that a new man from the West would emerge to balance North and South. From New England Puritan stock on his father's side and Virginia Cavalier gentry on his mother's, Lincoln was linked by blood to the central conflict of the age. And an enduring theme of his life, Reynolds shows, was his genius for striking a balance between opposing forces. Lacking formal schooling but with an unquenchable thirst for self-improvement, Lincoln had a talent for wrestling and bawdy jokes that made him popular with his peers, even as his appetite for poetry and prodigious gifts for memorization set him apart from them through his childhood, his years as a lawyer, and his entrance into politics. No one can transcend the limitations of their time, and Lincoln was no exception. But what emerges from Reynolds's masterful reckoning is a man who at each stage in his life managed to arrive at a broader view of things than all but his most enlightened peers. As a politician, he moved too slowly for some and too swiftly for many, but he always pushed toward justice while keeping the whole nation in mind. Abe culminates, of course, in the Civil War, the defining test of Lincoln and his beloved country. Reynolds shows us the extraordinary range of cultural knowledge Lincoln drew from as he shaped a vision of true union, transforming, in Martin Luther King Jr.'s words, "the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood." Abraham Lincoln did not come out of nowhere. But if he was shaped by his times, he also managed at his life's fateful hour to shape them to an extent few could have foreseen. Ultimately, this is the great drama that astonishes us still, and that Abe brings to fresh and vivid life. The measure of that life will always be part of our American education.