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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
One of those small print (circulation) university press publications that by nature are expensive - a slender hardback volume costing $29.95. In this case eminently worth it. Anyone else besides me who loves to understand something of the elements of thought and discipline formative in Lincoln's rise to the Presidency and in the ideas behind the exercise of his...
Published on October 29, 2012 by Paul S. Andrews

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thoughts on Lincoln
In this year of scores of new books on Abraham Lincoln, I think others are of better value and more informative for the common reader. (The first book of this year's crop I would recommend is a biography, "A. Lincoln" by White. If one is really interested in the Emancipation, then buy Professor Guelzo's excellent "Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation", 2004.)...
Published on February 8, 2009 by Christian Schlect


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, October 29, 2012
By 
Paul S. Andrews (North Attleboro, MA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas (Hardcover)
One of those small print (circulation) university press publications that by nature are expensive - a slender hardback volume costing $29.95. In this case eminently worth it. Anyone else besides me who loves to understand something of the elements of thought and discipline formative in Lincoln's rise to the Presidency and in the ideas behind the exercise of his Presidential powers but fatigued by the overflow of Lincoln material steadily coming to the market? Guelzo is the antidote to the Lincoln overkill. If I were to keep a half dozen Lincoln books on my library shelf Guelzo's intellectual biography, Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President and this present volume, Lincoln As A Man of Ideas, would be two of them.

Steady yourself: this is not a biographical narrative that makes for quick reading but instead is a series of extended essays that fall into the category of intellectual history. Because each chapter is a thematic unit standing on its own, it makes for a well callibrated discussion that is extensive enough to cover significant ground yet relieves one of the burden of reading through a couple of hundred pages to achieve important understanding.

What I appreciate so much in reading Guelzo's analysis of Lincoln distinctives is the easily attained sense that he is definitively unwrapping the man and his religious/philosphical/political/economic convictions in a manner that is true to Lincoln himself. This anaylsis is free of any effort to shove Lincoln into a "school" of interpretation or form of psychological analysis or to judge the man outside the standards of his own time and society. Instead, with good reason, you feel that you have come to understand Lincoln as he actually was. A very valuable little book. And rendered in a clearly written and argued prose style that makes Lincoln accessible to me. Put it on your short list of "must reads" if interest in the Lincoln presidency is part of your intelllectual curosity or especially if you find yourself employed in actually having to explain Lincoln to other people. Invaluable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, August 27, 2011
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This review is from: Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas (Hardcover)
A wonderful series of essays on important topics. Well written and researched, a pleasure to read. Guelzo again delivers an outstanding volumn. Bravo!
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thoughts on Lincoln, February 8, 2009
By 
Christian Schlect (Yakima, Washington/USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas (Hardcover)
In this year of scores of new books on Abraham Lincoln, I think others are of better value and more informative for the common reader. (The first book of this year's crop I would recommend is a biography, "A. Lincoln" by White. If one is really interested in the Emancipation, then buy Professor Guelzo's excellent "Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation", 2004.)

Professor Guelzo is an expert on this great man and some of these essays are very good (such as the ones on the war powers of a president and on the Emancipation Proclamation) but there are others that really are for a more specialized readership (such as the ones on prudence and the doctrine of necessity.)

As an example from one essay on community-men: "But the jeremiads of Etzione, Bellah, and other 'new communitarians' were not actually all that new. The nineteenth-century founders of scientific sociology--August Comte, Max Weber, Emil Durkeim, and especially Ferdinand Tonnies--all contrasted the new industrial nation-states of the late 1800s with their medieval and traditional predecessors, and usually to the disadvantage of the former." And this feeds directly into a short discussion of the German terms "Gemeinschaft" and "Gesellschaft."

While this is not a bad book by any measure, I just have trouble recommending a collection of previously issued essays, in a book priced at about the same level as a new general biography or other original work. Especially in a publishing year flooded with material on Mr. Lincoln.
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Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas
Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas by Allen C. Guelzo (Hardcover - January 26, 2009)
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