Lincoln and the Fight for Peace

John Avlon. Simon & Schuster, $30 (368p) ISBN 978-1-982108-12-0
CNN anchor Avlon (Washington’s Farewell) studies in this revelatory history the “unfinished symphony” of Abraham Lincoln’s efforts to forge a just and lasting peace in the waning days of the Civil War. Promoting a vision of national reconciliation rooted in the “absence of malice” and the notion that “decency could be the most practical form of politics,” Lincoln defused volatile situations with Bible verses, humor, and logic, according to Avlon. He spotlights a visit Lincoln made in the last weeks of his life to City Point, Va., where he shared his desires for generous peace terms with Union Army commander Ulysses S. Grant, and, in one of the book’s most moving chapters, depicts Lincoln’s arrival in the fallen Confederate capital of Richmond, Va., where teeming, cheering throngs of freed Black slaves surrounded and followed the president through the streets. Skillfully drawing on Lincoln’s voluminous speeches and correspondence during this time, Avlon reveals a man of inestimable character (“character,” Avlon writes, “is the single most important quality in a president”) whose pragmatic plans for peace inspired future wartime presidents including Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman. Vividly told and expertly researched, this inspiring history draws on Lincoln’s example to chart “a path away from violent polarization and toward reconciliation in defense of democracy.” Agent: Sloan Harris, ICM Partners. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/23/2021
Release date: 02/01/2022
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-3600-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-3602-8
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