Lincoln Reconsidered: Essays on the Civil War Era

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Open Road Media, Mar 22, 2016 - History - 210 pages
A “brilliant” look at America’s sixteenth president by the New York Times–bestselling, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Lincoln (American Historical Review).

First published in 1956 and revised and updated for the twenty-first century, Lincoln Reconsidered is a masterpiece of Civil War scholarship. In a dozen eloquent, witty, and incisive essays, the author of the definitive biography of Abraham Lincoln offers a fresh perspective on topics previously shrouded in myth and hagiography and brings the president’s tough-mindedness, strategic acumen, and political flexibility into sharp focus.

From Lincoln’s patchwork education to his contradictory interpretations of the Constitution and the legacy of the Founding Fathers, David Herbert Donald reveals the legal mind behind the legend of the Great Emancipator. “Toward a Reconsideration of the Abolitionists” sheds new light on the radicalism of the antislavery movement, while “Herndon and Mary Lincoln” brilliantly characterizes the complicated relationship between two of the president’s closest companions. “Getting Right with Lincoln” and “The Folklore Lincoln” draw on the methods of cultural anthropology to produce a provocative analysis of Lincoln as symbol.

No historian has done more to enhance our understanding of Lincoln’s presidency and the causes and effects of the Civil War than Donald. Lincoln Reconsidered is an entertaining and accessible introduction to his work and a must-read for every student of American history.

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The American Civil War and the Social Process
Herndon and Mary Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln and the Founding Fathers
Bibliographical Essay
About the Author

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About the author (2016)

David Herbert Donald (1920–2009) was an American historian and the author of many books on the Civil War era, including Lincoln (1995), a New York Times bestseller widely regarded as the definitive biography of the US president. Donald twice won the Pulitzer Prize, for Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War (1960) and Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe (1987), and served as the Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard University. His other notable works include the influential essay collection Lincoln Reconsidered (1956); Charles Sumner and the Rights of Man (1970), the second volume in his acclaimed biography of the antislavery statesman; and Liberty and Union (1978), a comprehensive analysis of the American scene from 1845 to 1890.

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