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Abraham Lincoln's Political Faith Hardcover – May 1, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fornieri walks with eyes wide open … armed with a first-rate knowledge of a wide range of studies." -- The Journal of American History

"One of the best overviews for understanding Lincoln's politics." -- Allen Guelzo, author of Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President

"Presents a strong vision of Lincoln's political religion." -- Martin E. Marty, University of Chicago

"This is a book that will enlighten historians even as it stimulates political theorists to affirmation or rebuttal." -- American Historical Review

About the Author

Joseph R. Fornieri is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rochester Institute of Technology. He received the 2001–2002 Eisenhart Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press; 1 edition (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875803156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875803159
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,416,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By CHRIS E. HEISEY on November 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Rarely does a scholoraly book come to market that appeals greatly to me. Especially so in the vast collection of Lincoln books that are so readily available. Many are either dedicated to the proposition that he was a racist fool or a great Emancipator. But this book is outstanding and unique. Carefully argued, Dr. Fornieri illustrates superbly Lincoln's biblical faith and how he mastered using it without sounding like a zealot. Lincoln's masterery of the English language is unparallled and this book shows with solid research this fact. In addition, the book provides a fascinating critique of the southern politic and clergy who argued that slavery was biblically ordained. How Lincoln deftly argued on the contrary is an American miracle and Dr. Fornieri has illuminated this fact expertly. Read this book slowly, because it is worth digesting. Lincoln always wrote for the ear, not the eye so he urged those who read his letters to read them slowly out loud. Try doing this with this book and it will hit home. Outstanding book on our best president - the 16th one. There are never too many good books on any topic and Lincoln remains a great source for the able scholar and history lover.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Veteran Teacher on July 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Fornieri's book is a thoroughly-researched, highly-interesting work, discussing how Abraham Lincoln's actions during his Presidency during the Civil War resulted from his combining a sincere Bible-based religious faith with (his interpretation of) the vision of the American Founders, particularly Jefferson.
Critics of Lincoln's policies (both those of his time and modern ones) have attributed his strengthening of the federal government, his use of Biblical references in speeches and letters, and his Emancipation Proclamation, to cynical reasons (including messianic ambitions on Lincoln's part). Fornieri addresses and convincingly refutes these arguments, using voluminous quotes from throughout Lincoln's life. The author effectively counters the argument that Lincoln's use of Scripture in speeches and letters was merely an affectation for political convenience or just the common mode of speech at the time. Fornieri shows, through the use of Lincoln's letters and speeches (pre-Presidential and later), that Lincoln's religious faith -although non-sectarian- was sincere and heartfelt. The author also defends Lincoln's actions during the war, including the Emancipation Proclamation, as wholly consistent with his long-standing personal and political beliefs, as well as with the intent of men like Jefferson.
One of the most interesting sections in the book, in my opinion, is the analysis of the theological/Scriptural arguments used by proslavery clergy to not only defend slavery, but to attack antislavery efforts as heretical and "against God's will". Fornieri takes this topic, which is seldom-discussed (particularly by modern-day Confederacy apologists) and shows how Lincoln elegantly and effectively countered the alleged Scriptural defenses for slavery.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Hoodlum on August 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This well-researched and carefully written book is judicious in its approach to Lincoln's thought and insightful in its analysis. Indeed, its author is remarkably--and reliably--conversant with a variety of related disciplines, including theology, political theory, philosophy, and history. The result is one of the best books--of an unusually good crop--that have appeared on Lincoln in the past ten years. I hope that Fornieri's excellent work gains a wide audience, because its sound arguments and clear presentation richly deserve consideration alongside the deservedly well-recognized treatments of Allen Guelzo, William Lee Miller, Ronald White, Mark Noll, Richard Carwardine, and others who have written on Lincoln's faith and politics.
We will never grow tired of exploring Lincoln's thought. Why? Because it was so profound for his own time and remains so illuminating for our own.
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