Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution

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Oxford University Press, Jun 4, 1992 - History - 192 pages
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James McPherson has emerged as one of America's finest historians. Battle Cry of Freedom, his Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the Civil War, was a national bestseller that Hugh Brogan, in The New York Times Book Review, called "history writing of the highest order." In that volume, McPherson gathered in the broad sweep of events, the political, social, and cultural forces at work during the Civil War era. Now, in Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution, he offers a series of thoughtful and engaging essays on aspects of Lincoln and the war that have rarely been discussed in depth. McPherson again displays his keen insight and sterling prose as he examines several critical themes in American history. He looks closely at the President's role as Commander-in-Chief of the Union forces, showing how Lincoln forged a national military strategy for victory. He explores the importance of Lincoln's great rhetorical skills, uncovering how--through parables and figurative language--he was uniquely able to communicate both the purpose of the war and a new meaning of liberty to the people of the North. In another section, McPherson examines the Civil War as a Second American Revolution, describing how the Republican Congress elected in 1860 passed an astonishing blitz of new laws (rivaling the first hundred days of the New Deal), and how the war not only destroyed the social structure of the old South, but radically altered the balance of power in America, ending 70 years of Southern power in the national government. The Civil War was the single most transforming and defining experience in American history, and Abraham Lincoln remains the most important figure in the pantheon of our mythology. These graceful essays, written by one of America's leading historians, offer fresh and unusual perspectives on both.
 

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User Review  - dougwood57 - LibraryThing

James McPherson (Battle Cry of Freedom) is the preeminent Civil War author and scholar of our time. The Princeton University professor provides fresh insight into A. Lincoln in these seven essays ... Read full review

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User Review  - kencf0618 - LibraryThing

Interesting legal analysis of the insurgency, which technically was nothing but a rather large riot. Lincoln never, ever referred to "the Confederacy," and for good reason, too! Read full review

Contents

The Second American Revolution
3
Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution
23
Lincoln and Liberty
43
Lincoln and the Strategy of Unconditional Surrender
65
How Lincoln Won the War with Metaphors
93
The Hedgehog and the Foxes
113
Liberty and Power in the Second American Revolution
131
Notes
153
Index
169
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About the author (1992)

James M. McPherson is George Henry Davis Professor of American History at Princeton University. His books include Battle Cry of Freedom, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History, and Ordeal by Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction.

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