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Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream Paperback – October 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


"The most systematic, best-researched, and compelling critique of Lincoln's [beliefs about race] that I know of."  —Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

About the Author

Lerone Bennett Jr. is the executive editor emeritus of Ebony magazine and the author of 10 books, including Before the Mayflower, Great Moments in Black History, Pioneers in Protest, The Shaping of Black America, and What Manner of Man, a biography of Martin Luther King. He lives in Chicago.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Johnson Publishing Company, Inc.; 1 edition (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874850029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874850024
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,909,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Alan Mills VINE VOICE on September 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Lerone Bennett has accomplished a feat few historians have tried, and at which even fewer have succeded--giving us a new perspective on Abraham lincoln and his presidency.

It is by now well established that the Emancipation Proclamation did not, in fact, free anyone--it applied only to those areas of the Confederacy over which the union exerted no control. However, Bennett takes this well established fact and goes much, much further. By adopting the perspective of the slave, he demonstrates that not only didn't Lincoln free anyone, but he in fact succeeded in postponing freedom for hundreds of thousands of slaves. Prior to the Proclamation, Congress had already enacted the Confiscation Act, which authorized the Army to free the slaves of anyone in rebellion against the United States. the effect of the Proclamation was to stop the Confiscation Act from being enforced--thus relegating every slave in territory conquered by the Union Armies to additional months of slavery.

Further, Bennett makes the compelling case that this was not an inadvertent failing (or a product of necessity) but an intentional strategy by Lincoln. Tracking Lincoln's history from his earliest years as an Illinois legislator, Bennett successfully argues that Lincoln never wanted Blacks to be able to live on equal terms with Whites. Even after the civil war was won, lincoln was still against freeing the slaves; trather, he wanted them deported to Central America or Africa.

As Bennett notes, had such a mass deportation plan for ethnic minorities been proposed in our century, it would properly have been labelled genocide (think of the Serbian plans to remove all Albanians from Kosovo). In other words, from the slaves' perspective, Lincoln believed in ethnic cleansing, not emancipation.
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334 of 419 people found the following review helpful By Clay W. Sigg on July 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Once you've read this book, you will never look at Abraham Lincoln in the same way. Bennett writes a polemic here, but it is a well-researched and passionate effort. Although some of his conclusions are suspect, I respect the basic premise of this book, which is that Lincoln was a thorough going racist. Bennett proves that Lincoln's political mentor was Senator Henry Clay, a Kentucky slave owner. Lincoln exhibited racist speech using the pejorative for "Negro" up until the last days of his life. He consistently frequented "black face" comedy shows that denigrated blacks in stereotypical ways. Lincoln always supported fugitive slave laws in Illinois and nationally. The Lincoln described by Bennett completely missed the concept of full emancipation for all African Americans. His lukewarm Emancipation Proclamation was only an attempt to stave off the radical abolitionists who were pressing for full freedom for all Black Americans. Lincoln's Proclamation promised to emancipate blacks in areas currently in rebellion (in which Lincoln had no jurisdiction), and did not emancipate slaves in the areas that had not seceded or were militarily re-occupied. It was a halfway measure designed to obfuscate Lincoln's true agenda, i.e., gradual emancipation and/or deportation for colonization of the native born African American population. Bennett does a credible job showing that Lincoln's speeches, including the Gettysburg Address, were high sounding but did not include African Americans in the great American ideal of freedom for all. "All men are created equal" did not include blacks until Lincoln had been assassinated and was not able to obstruct the final version of the thirteenth amendment.Read more ›
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124 of 162 people found the following review helpful By Ted Ficklen on May 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is the most interesting book about Lincoln since Gore Vidal wrote his novel. Mr Bennett's Lincoln is not the familiar figure of Carl Sandburg's bio, but still believable. Bennett, author of Before The Mayflower, gives us a pragmatic, ambitious, scheming Politician. Lincoln apparently didn't care much for black people personally, enjoyed the racist humor of the time, and may have actually been a racist himself. Bennett makes a convincing case that Lincoln would rather have sent black slaves back to Africa instead of integrating them into post-Civil War society. This is a fascinating portrayal. The only reason I dont give it five stars is that I am not yet sure how to square this with all the other Lincoln books I've read.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Daryle Brown on March 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is no wonder that some folks have such narrow perspectives on this bit of history. I was lucky enough to in 1973 have had a history teacher that taught us the truth about President Lincoln, that he would have freed not one slave if he could have preserved the union without it.

As my Pastor often says, "We must teach our children our history, and not leave it to others with their own secret and not so secret agendas". Thank heavens there are scholars such as Mr. Bennett that know this full well and go about their business of telling truth to power.

Thank you sir.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Cruising Lover on May 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Bennett has added to the copious works of Thomas Dilorenzo (The Real Lincoln) in exposing the lies with which we've been engulfed for almost a century and a half. The (UN)Civil War, the worst ever experienced by America in terms of casualties (more than all other wars combined), was deliberately begun by Lincoln to prevent the legal secession of several Southern States. It was more about money and power - as most wars are - than anything about "freedom" or "slavery". In fact, Lincoln didn't even prepare the "Emancipation Proclamation" until 1864 when he was in serious jeopardy with the war and about to lose it. That fabled document applied *only* to the slaves in the South, where the document had no force and he specifically avoided it for the Northern slaves states (there were plenty of them) which supported his war.

Lincoln never lived or studied in a log cabin. He came from a well to do family, was extremely well educated, a lawyer with most of his clients being from the Northern mercantile groups, especially the railroads. His history of helping slaughter the American Indians has also been "overlooked" by the Lincoln apologists along with his stated plans to expel all freed slaves from the continent, either back to Africa or to South or Central American countries. He was no friend of the black man. However, the con has been in almost from the time of his death, the history books rewritten, as is often done by the "winners". The damage he did to the Constitution has never been repaired, only damaged further.

Bravo, Mr. Bennett. I enjoyed your book very much and highly recommend it to anyone seriously interested in the truth of then...and now.
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