The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America,

Mark Neely, Jr., Author Harvard University Press $26.5 (320p) ISBN 978-0-674-51125-5
Shortly before issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared slaves free in the secessionist states, Abraham Lincoln gave assurances to the border states of an all-white society to come, whereby freed slaves would be shipped to South American colonies. Nevertheless, argues Neely in this succinct, brisk political biography, Lincoln generally took a determined moral stance against slavery, which he regarded as an evil. Winner of a Pulitzer for The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties , Neely here disputes critics who charge that Lincoln's security measures during the Civil War amounted to a dictatorship, even though, as he graphically acknowledges, tens of thousands of civilians were arrested and civil liberties were drastically curtailed. As commander-in-chief, opines Neely, Lincoln had no equal in American history in combining political vision with military strategy. Nearly 100 plates reproduce documents, posters, cartoons, letters, broadsides and rare photographs. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1993
Release date: 10/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-674-51126-2
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