Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution

James M. McPherson, Author Oxford University Press, USA $25 (192p) ISBN 978-0-19-505542-9
In seven thoughtful essays the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom examines Lincoln's role in the transformation wrought by the Civil War--the liberation of four million slaves, the overthrow of the social and political order of the South. McPherson calls the 16th president a conservative revolutionary whose goal was to conserve the Union as the revolutionary heritage of the founding fathers. He addresses at length a subject oddly overlooked by historians and Civl War scholars: Lincoln as strategist and war leader. McPherson flatly states that he was responsible for the unconditional Union victory. Lincoln's superb leadership as president, commander-in-chief and head of the Republican party, the author concludes, determined the pace of the ``second American revolution'' and ensured its success. These scholarly essays convey the enduring significance of Lincoln's words and ideas as he grappled with issues which, as McPherson points out, will never become obsolete: the meaning of freedom, the limits of government power and individual liberty in time of crisis and the problems of wartime leadership. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
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