Lincoln and His World: Volume 3, The Rise to National Prominence, 1843–1853
Based on deep consultation of seldom-examined primary sources, this third volume in Richard Lawrence Miller’s massive Lincoln biography follows Lincoln’s long effort to win a seat in Congress, his activity there, and his return to Illinois—chastened by his Washington experience. Topics include: Lincoln’s anti-slavery efforts in Congress; the popularity of his stance against the Mexican War (which, contrary to common belief, didn’t significantly harm his political reputation); his support of Zachary Taylor’s presidential campaign and his subsequent efforts to win a patronage job from the Taylor White House; his political activities after returning to Illinois; and his generally happy home life with Mary and his sons. Throughout the work, a new portrait emerges of Lincoln as a canny politician, making his own luck by striking swiftly and strongly when opportunities arose.
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