Guelzo (Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America) gives us an astute, gracefully written account of the celebrated Lincoln–Douglas debates of 1858. These seven debates between two powerful attorneys and statesmen, Abraham Lincoln and Sen. Stephen A. Douglas, starkly defined the stakes between sharply different positions on slavery and union on the eve of civil war and offered examples of serious, deeply reasoned exchanges of views rarely seen in American politics. As Guelzo wisely shows, the debates did not stand alone but were part of a larger Illinois senatorial campaign. Douglas won re-election that year, but Lincoln gained national recognition despite losing and then defeated Douglas three years later for the presidency. Perhaps more important, the views that Lincoln enunciated in 1858—that the government, heeding the majority's will, should halt slavery's further spread—laid the foundation for emancipation and a new era in the nation's history. Guelzo's smoothly narrated history of this segment of Lincoln's career, packed full of illustrative quotes from primary sources, will become a standard. (Feb.)
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Allen C. Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at
Gettysburg College, where he also directs the Civil War Era Studies Program and
The Gettysburg Semester. He is the author of Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer
President (1999) and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of
Slavery in America (2004), both of which won the Lincoln Prize. He has
written essays and reviews for The Washington Post, The Wall Street
Journal, Time, the Journal of American History, and many other
This guy is very good -- and he "gets it" that Douglas with his friends passed Kansas Nebraska Act, and lied. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mark D C
Got this for my father who loves history and he loved this book. Couldn't put it down. He said the detail in this book was amazing.Published 19 months ago by Kristin Nowaczyk
Boring & very hard to read for the most part. Well I would say because of the rambling and inconsistency.Published 20 months ago by Ashley Reveles
This book places the debates in the context of 1850's America when slavery was ascendant - The Fugitive Slave Act, The Kansas-Nebraska Act, Repeal of the Missouri Compromise,... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Mark A. Ryniker
This book is an excellent one. Dr. Guelzo certainly knows his stuff.
Rather than focusing the book primarily on the seven debates between Lincoln and Douglas, Guelzo... Read more
The subject of the Lincoln and Douglas debates is explored in great detail in this very accessible book. Read morePublished on August 5, 2010 by Paul Brooks
I have always been fascinated by the series of Lincoln's and Douglas's seven debates. This book does an excellent job of putting the speeches into the context of the times and of... Read morePublished on June 16, 2009 by Michael Goldman
Excellent book, it is a detailed account of the debates, debaters and what the crowds at debates were like then. Read morePublished on January 27, 2009 by David A. Shaver
This book is an informative account of the debates and the caliber of politics for that time.
The electorial process was as flawed then as it is now. Read more