Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 528 pages
An enlightening "intellectual biography" of Lincoln, Allen Guelzo's peerless account of America's most celebrated president explores the role of ideas in Lincoln's life, treating him as a serious thinker deeply involved in the nineteenth-century debates over politics, religion, and culture. Written with passion and dramatic impact, Guelzo's masterful study offers a revealing new perspective on a man whose life was in many ways a paradox.

Since its original publication in 1999, Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President has garnered numerous accolades, not least the prestigious 2000 Lincoln Prize. As journalist Richard N. Ostling has noted, "Much has been written about Lincoln's belief and disbelief," but Guelzo's extraordinary account "goes deeper."

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User Review  - twatson79 - LibraryThing

Very engaging biography on Lincoln, detailing his philosophy, religiosity, and general thought life. Guelzo does well in showing Lincoln to be a man of deep convictions as well as showing how those ... Read full review

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This was a wonderful read, full of information. One criticism I have is I thought Guelzo went out of his way to declare Lincoln a non-Christian. I would highly recommend this biography.

Selected pages

Contents

The Strife of Ideas
3
The American System
26
The Costs of Union
64
The Doctrine of Necessity
102
The Fuel of Interest
143
Moral Principle Is All That Unites Us
185
An Accidental President
228
War in a Conciliatory Style
269
Voice Out of the Whirlwind
311
Whig Jupiter
352
Malice Toward None
397
The Redeemer President
439
A Note on the Sources
465
Index
500
Copyright

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Page 50 - Tho' they may gang a kennin wrang, To step aside is human : One point must still be greatly dark, The moving Why they do it ; And just as lamely can ye mark, How far perhaps they rue it. Who made the heart, 'tis He alone Decidedly can try us, He knows each chord its various tone, Each spring its various bias : Then at the balance let's be mute, We never can adjust it ; What's done we partly may compute, But know not what's resisted.
Page 225 - That is the real issue. That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles — right and wrong — throughout the world.
Page 221 - It matters not what way the Supreme Court may hereafter decide as to the abstract question whether slavery may or may not go into a Territory under the Constitution, the people have the lawful means to introduce it or exclude it as they please, for the reason that slavery cannot exist a day or an hour anywhere, unless it is supported by local police regulations.
Page 214 - A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in...
Page 284 - 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 6 - Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever He had a chosen people, whose breasts He has made His peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue. It is the focus in which he keeps alive that sacred fire, which otherwise might escape from the face of the earth. Corruption of morals in the mass of cultivators is a phenomenon of which no age nor nation has furnished an example.
Page 4 - All honor to Jefferson — to the man, who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so to embalm it there that to-day and in all coming days it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the very harbingers of reappearing tyranny and oppression.
Page 214 - We cannot absolutely know that all these exact adaptations are the result of preconcert. But when we see a lot of framed timbers, different portions of which we know have been gotten out at different times and places, and by different workmen — Stephen, Franklin, Roger, and James, for instance...

About the author (1999)

Allen C. Guelzo is the dean of the Templeton Honors College at Eastern College, where he is also the Grace F. Kea Professor of American History.

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