Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths

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Harper Collins, Oct 13, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 240 pages
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“There is no better introduction to current thinking about Lincoln and his place in history.” —Newsday

“Here, in these pages, Lincoln is still alive.” —Los Angeles Times

From Stephen B. Oates comes a riveting companion to his seminal Lincoln biography With Malice Toward None. Exploring the complex mythology surrounding the sixteenth President, including iconic images of Lincoln as Honest Abe, the Rail Splitter, and the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind The Myths offers a penetrating look at Lincoln’s life and impact, indispensible for any student of great leadership, the Civil War, and American history.
 

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Contents

Man of the People
3
Arch Villain
17
ManyMooded
31
All Conquering Mind
45
Mr Lincoln
51
The Beacon Light of Liberty
57
This Vast Moral Evil
65
My Dissatisfied Fellow Countrymen
75
Necessity Knows No Law
120
The Warrior
126
Toward a New Birth of Freedom 1
136
Final
149
Aftermath
164
Stanton
170
Acknowledgments
189
Index
215

The Central Idea
89
The Man of Our Redemption
111

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Popular passages

Page 91 - This is essentially a people's contest. On the side of the Union it is a struggle for maintaining in the world that form and substance of Government whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men...
Page 23 - I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races...
Page 109 - The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.
Page 83 - In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it.
Page 74 - They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society, which should be familiar to all, and revered by all ; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere.
Page 73 - I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men ; but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral development, or social capacity.
Page 78 - All they ask we could readily grant, if we thought slavery right; all we ask they could as readily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their thinking it right and our thinking it wrong is the precise fact upon which depends the whole controversy. Thinking it right, as they do, they are not to blame for desiring its full recognition as being right; but thinking it wrong, as we do, can we yield to them? Can we cast our votes with their view, and against our own? In view of our moral, social, and political...
Page 60 - The legitimate object of government is "to do for the people what needs to be done, but which they cannot, by individual effort, do at all, or do so well, for themselves.
Page 77 - We mean to remember that you are as good as we ; that there is no difference between us other than the difference of circumstances. We mean to recognize and bear in mind always that you have as good hearts in your bosoms as other people, or as we claim to have, and treat you accordingly.

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About the author (2009)

Stephen B. Oates is a professor emeritus of history at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst. His books include Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and With Malice Toward None: A Life of Abraham Lincoln. Oates has been awarded numerous honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and Nevins-Freeman Award of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago for lifetime achievement in the field of Civil War studies.

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