Lincoln and His World: Prairie Politician, 1834-1842

Stackpole Books
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• Places Lincoln in historical context
• Firsthand sources create an authentic portrait
In the second volume of this monumental Lincoln biography, the young Illinois politician is challenged by Stephen Douglas--brilliant organizer of the Illinois Democratic Party, perennial officeholder and candidate, and unscrupulous when publicly debating Lincoln. Lincoln and his fellow Whigs go on the attack as Democrats split into two factions.
Rhetorical violence becomes physical as Whig mobs attack and politicians attempt murder. Lincoln publicly asks whether democracy can endure under such conditions. Yet Lincoln more than once takes politically unpopular stances condemning slavery and defending rights of free blacks in Illinois.
The second volume of Lincoln and His World also explores Lincoln's private life: his romances with Ann Rutledge and wealthy plantation belle Mary Owens, his intimate friendship with Joshua Speed, and a stormy, loving relationship with the vivacious and passionate Mary Todd.
Rather than concentrate on how Lincoln affected the world, author Richard Lawrence Miller shows how the world affected Lincoln, placing Lincoln in historical context to help readers to understand him. Presenting numerous firsthand recollections, Miller lets participants speak for themselves, an approach reflecting his years in public radio script writing.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Stackpole Books
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Published on
Jul 28, 2008
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Pages
672
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ISBN
9780811749565
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Winner of the Lincoln Prize

Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Abraham Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.

On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry.

Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war. That Lincoln succeeded, Goodwin demonstrates, was the result of a character that had been forged by experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.

It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.

We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through.

This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.
The war on drugs is a war on ordinary people. Using that premise, historian Richard Lawrence Miller analyzes America's drug war with passion seldom encountered in scholarly writing. Miller presents numerous examples of drug law enforcement gone amok, as police and courts threaten the happiness, property, and even lives of victims--some of whom are never charged with a drug crime, let alone convicted of one. Miller not only argues that criminal justice zealots are harming the democracy they are sworn to protect, but that authoritarians unfriendly to democracy are stoking public fear in order to convince citizens to relinquish traditional legal rights. Those are the very rights that thwart implementation of an agenda of social control through government power. Miller contends that an imaginary drug crisis has been manufactured by authoritarians in order to mask their war on democracy. He not only examines numerous civil rights sacrificed in the name of drugs, but demonstrates how their loss harms ordinary Americans in their everyday lives. Showing how the war on drug users fits into a destruction process that can lead to mass murder, Miller calls for an end to the war before it proceeds deeper into the destruction process.

This is a book for anyone who wonders about the value of civil liberties, and for anyone who wonders why people seek to destroy their neighbors. Using voluminous examples of drug law enforcement victimizing blameless people, this book demonstrates how the loss of civil liberties in the name of drugs threatens law-abiding Americans at work and at home.

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the epic New York Times bestselling account of how Civil War general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson became a great and tragic national hero.

Stonewall Jackson has long been a figure of legend and romance. As much as any person in the Confederate pantheon—even Robert E. Lee—he embodies the romantic Southern notion of the virtuous lost cause. Jackson is also considered, without argument, one of our country’s greatest military figures. In April 1862, however, he was merely another Confederate general in an army fighting what seemed to be a losing cause. But by June he had engineered perhaps the greatest military campaign in American history and was one of the most famous men in the Western world. Jackson’s strategic innovations shattered the conventional wisdom of how war was waged; he was so far ahead of his time that his techniques would be studied generations into the future.

In his “magnificent Rebel Yell…S.C. Gwynne brings Jackson ferociously to life” (New York Newsday) in a swiftly vivid narrative that is rich with battle lore, biographical detail, and intense conflict among historical figures. Gwynne delves deep into Jackson’s private life and traces Jackson’s brilliant twenty-four-month career in the Civil War, the period that encompasses his rise from obscurity to fame and legend; his stunning effect on the course of the war itself; and his tragic death, which caused both North and South to grieve the loss of a remarkable American hero.
General John A. Wickham, commander of the famous 101st Airborne Division in the 1970s and subsequently Army Chief of Staff, once visited Antietam battlefield. Gazing at Bloody Lane where, in 1862, several Union assaults were brutally repulsed before they finally broke through, he marveled, "You couldn't get American soldiers today to make an attack like that." Why did those men risk certain death, over and over again, through countless bloody battles and four long, awful years ? Why did the conventional wisdom -- that soldiers become increasingly cynical and disillusioned as war progresses -- not hold true in the Civil War? It is to this question--why did they fight--that James McPherson, America's preeminent Civil War historian, now turns his attention. He shows that, contrary to what many scholars believe, the soldiers of the Civil War remained powerfully convinced of the ideals for which they fought throughout the conflict. Motivated by duty and honor, and often by religious faith, these men wrote frequently of their firm belief in the cause for which they fought: the principles of liberty, freedom, justice, and patriotism. Soldiers on both sides harkened back to the Founding Fathers, and the ideals of the American Revolution. They fought to defend their country, either the Union--"the best Government ever made"--or the Confederate states, where their very homes and families were under siege. And they fought to defend their honor and manhood. "I should not lik to go home with the name of a couhard," one Massachusetts private wrote, and another private from Ohio said, "My wife would sooner hear of my death than my disgrace." Even after three years of bloody battles, more than half of the Union soldiers reenlisted voluntarily. "While duty calls me here and my country demands my services I should be willing to make the sacrifice," one man wrote to his protesting parents. And another soldier said simply, "I still love my country." McPherson draws on more than 25,000 letters and nearly 250 private diaries from men on both sides. Civil War soldiers were among the most literate soldiers in history, and most of them wrote home frequently, as it was the only way for them to keep in touch with homes that many of them had left for the first time in their lives. Significantly, their letters were also uncensored by military authorities, and are uniquely frank in their criticism and detailed in their reports of marches and battles, relations between officers and men, political debates, and morale. For Cause and Comrades lets these soldiers tell their own stories in their own words to create an account that is both deeply moving and far truer than most books on war. Battle Cry of Freedom, McPherson's Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the Civil War, was a national bestseller that Hugh Brogan, in The New York Times, called "history writing of the highest order." For Cause and Comrades deserves similar accolades, as McPherson's masterful prose and the soldiers' own words combine to create both an important book on an often-overlooked aspect of our bloody Civil War, and a powerfully moving account of the men who fought it.
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