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Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860-1861 Paperback – Bargain Price, October 20, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Holzer paints Lincoln as a strong-willed, decisive politician who has a clear vision of what he wants to accomplish and shrewdly manuevers support for his ambitions and objectives. Written in a fast-paced style that keeps the reader both informed and anticipating Lincoln's next move, this is a book that both presents the facts as they are known from the historical record and, more importantly, interprets the decisions, deals, and moves Lincoln made as he prepared for his presidency during perhaps the most turbulent four-month period in U.S. history.
Divided into two major sections, Holzer's book first deals with "the promise of something better," a phrase that caught fire after the disappointments of the nearly impotent Buchanan Administration. Interspersed with Lincoln's wry humor and stories are details of the political and social issues facing the President-Elect, issues that may have overwhelmed a weaker man.Read more ›
Yet the whole of the book does not quite rise to the level of the sum of its detailed parts. The detail obscures the fact that Lincoln did not have much that he could do during the lame-duck period. Indeed, Holzer quotes Lincoln's assertion that he "would willingly take out of my life a period in years equal to the two months which intervene between now and my inauguration to take the oath of office now." The disintegration of the United States that occurred while Lincoln was president-elect and his inability to do anything about it is more damning of our lengthy lame-duck periods than it is of Lincoln himself. But Lincoln's absence of power strips his activities as president-elect of much meaning.Read more ›
Harold Holzer knows his subject both wide and deep. Here he delivers a fresh and accurate account of such matters as the lack of much comment by the newly-elected president on the pending political issues of the day; the long train ride to Washington, D.C. from Springfield (this area of coverage is detailed to a fault); the incessant but necessary handling of patronage; the deft formation of the first cabinet; and the inspired drafting of the First Inaugural Address.
This is not a general biography or history but a very focused look at the period when Mr. Lincoln changed from being a mere candidate for office to one who would lead the United States through its greatest trial.
Using many new sources, Holzer paints a picture of Lincoln as a strong determined leader, who, while remaining quiet publicly as the South seceded amid vitriol and threats towards Lincoln far greater than that any other President has faced. Lincoln wrote letters to his allies, which they circulated, and powerful letters to the newspapers, which purported to be anonymous but which many recognized as coming from his pen.
Of course, the cornpone Lincoln, who loved to stand back to back with other tall men for measurement, and who relished corny old fashioned dialect stories and jokes, is also here.
Holzer proves that Lincoln was also not only a great writer, but an even greater editor, as with the last paragraph of his brilliant First Inaugural Address, which William Seward first wrote and Lincoln then polished into a gem.
Holzer also tells about Lincoln's sojourn on his way from Springfield to Washington, D.C., by train, through the Northern cities and villages, where people turned out in huge enthusiastic crowds, in order to see and hear a President-elect for the first time in American history.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found it to be very informative yet it doesn't become as exciting as a text book.Published 5 months ago by Rick
Harold Holzer provided first-rate research and clear writing that made a somewhat less heralded part of Lincoln's history enjoyable.Published 6 months ago by David DeCamp
In spite of a (very) few redundancies, I enjoyed this book. It provides interesting insights into the process Lincoln took while writing his first inaugural. Read morePublished 7 months ago by D. Oehlert
As usual, Holzer's books are always fascinating and enjoyable to read. This one met the same standard, in covering Lincoln's days before becoming President of the United States. Read morePublished 8 months ago by John A. Jago, Jr.
Lots of detailed information about everything that Lincoln did during the interval between election and inauguration. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Big Arn
Very detailed about this time. Gets pretty boring after a while. I'm not half way through and I've already left it to read four other books. Way too much about cabinet choices. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Patricia Yoder
With many voters
He struck a sour chord.
He was a Lincoln
Not a Ford.
Despite being born in the land of Lincoln, I learned many interesting details of Lincoln's time before actually being sworn into office. Good read.Published 10 months ago by Berry