The Life and Writings of Abraham Lincoln

The Life and Writings of Abraham Lincoln

by Abraham Lincoln

Collects Abraham Lincoln's most inspiring works written during his public life, from his inaugural address to the Emancipation Proclamation, and includes a biography and chronology of Lincoln's life.

  • Language: English
  • Category: History
  • Rating: 4.32
  • Pages: 928
  • Publish Date: October 17th 2000 by Modern Library
  • Isbn10: 0679783296
  • Isbn13: 9780679783299

Read the Book "The Life and Writings of Abraham Lincoln" Online

) The appeal of the book under review here is that it combines a very readable and interesting biography with a large selection of Lincoln's own writings. Thus it is of interest to readers who are not looking for a very detailed, in-depth or specialized study of Lincoln, but a fairly brief overview of his life, and in addition a wide selection of his writings, the latter a feature of this book missing from the other books mentioned. Introduction The following section is a short overview of a (short itself) Introduction to the book by Allan Nevins, entitled "Lincoln in His Writings". (view spoiler) The ten page Introduction by the historian Allan Nevins starts by noting how, in the two or three decades following the Civil War, Lincoln was often viewed as just one actor on a "crowded stage" of notables, whose stars still shone brightly in the memories of those who had lived through the event. In his essay Nevins traces the development of Lincoln's ideas, character, and moral qualities by referring to key examples of his writing (all contained in the volume) at various stages of his life.

Whenever Lincoln attempted to state the obvious, that, for example, the United States was a house divided, he was accused by Democrats of being the one causing national divisions. Douglas did over John Brown at Harpers Ferry: The Harpers Ferry crime was the natural, logical, inevitable result of the doctrines and teachings of the Republican Party, as explained and enforced in their platform, their partisan presses, their pamphlets and books, and especially in the speeches of their leaders in and out of Congress Is not the Republican Party still embodied, organized, confident of success, and defiant in its pretensions? Those doctrines remain the same; those teachings are being poured into the minds of men throughout the country by means of speeches and pamphlets and books, and through partizan presses. Van Doren writes that John Wilkes Booth had tried to force his way nearer to the President earlier at Lincolns Second Inaugural Address, had been stopped by the guards, but not arrested. Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belaboredcontrivances such as groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong: vain as the search for a man who should be neither a living man nor a dead man The Writings of Abraham Lincoln The second part of the book, and the majority of it (pages 219-852), is the amazing part. It collects (and in many cases excerpts from) Lincolns letters, notes, and speeches. It outlines just how hard Lincoln tried to avoid war, and then to end it peacefully, even at the expense of maintaining slavery in the states where it already existedas long as slavery were not introduced into any new territories and as long as the slave trade remained illegal. Also amazing is how, in his speeches, Lincoln would say something deeply prejudiced, but then go on to conclude with something completely right: I protest against the counterfeit logic which concludes that, because I do not want a black woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. In some respects she certainly is not my equal; but in her natural right to eat the bread she earns with her own hands without asking leave of anyone else, she is my equal, and the equal of all others. I have never said anything to the contrary, but I hold that, notwithstanding all this, there is no reason in the world why the Negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independencethe right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But in the right to eat the bread, without the leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man. The principles he espouses, the ones that allow him to overcome his prejudices, are the same that conservatives today call their own, such as when he argues continually in favor of the right to keep the bread you earn during the Lincoln-Douglas debates: It is the eternal struggle between these two principlesright and wrongthroughout the world. No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.

The bios a useful bonus, but the real matter belongs to Lincoln, and theres 700 pages of it beyond the bio.

I recommend this book for the biography as well as the collection of documents.