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Lincoln for President: An Unlikely Candidate, An Audacious Strategy, and the Victory No One Saw Coming Paperback – November 1, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

""Like White's famous dissection of the Kennedy campaign a century later, it [Lincoln For President] provides a detailed analysis of one man's march to the White House."" - Miami Today

""The author is at his best when focused on the personal and colorful details of 1860s politics."" - Associated Press

""In these pages Lincoln appeared startlingly lifelike...a book well worthy of further study, it is full of interesting facts."" - Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review

"Set 150 years ago, this account is contemporary in its feeling and treatment...While certainly scholarly, this book is influenced by Chadwick's first career, 24 years at the New York Daily News, as a reporter and investigative reporter, entertainment writer and assistant features editor." - Star Ledger --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Bruce Chadwick is a former journalist and author of seven works of history including 1858, The First American Army, George Washington's War, The General and Mrs. Washington, Brother Against Brother, Two American Presidents, Traveling the Underground Railroad, and The Reel Civil War. He lectures in American history at Rutgers University and also teaches writing at New Jersey City University.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402244835
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402244834
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,275,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There are some positive aspects to this book. I'm just not convinced Mr. Chadwick is a great writer. The prose comes off a bit choppy. Also, there are some incorrect statements: Alexander Stephens was a House member, not a Senator. John Bell was not the "Third Democrat" in the race. As a matter of fact, he was a Whig as U.S. Senator, and even was a Know-Nothing for a while. Early in the book, Chadwick totally blows it on a brief description of the Dred Scott case -- his wording is not an accurate summation of what the case decided.

I'm also a bit perplexed by the subtitle. Many people saw Lincoln's victory, as the book discusses, so saying no one saw it coming is at odds with what the book says. Also, ignoring the South when you wouldn't win a single state in that section isn't exactly "audacious" in my mind.

It's a decent historical overview of the nation's most significant election. But there will be better books written about the contest of 1860.
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By mike on December 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Really good book. Very informative and very easy to read for a history book. There is alot of info not often discussed about the 1860 election that is brought up in this book. The author also paints a great picture of Lincoln and his political side and how he had the right political friends and ties to sneak into the republican canidacy and steal the election. Overall excellent book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book read more like a tedious graduate level thesis. It was informative but the writing was labored, which, obviously made it challenging to read. Perhaps this was a function of the research. I credit the author for his painstaking diligence. But this may explain why other Lincoln biographers paid little attention to the election itself.
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Format: Paperback
The 1860 presidential election stands as the most important race for the White House in American history. "Lincoln for President" is Bruce Chadwick's careful examination of the election which catapulted Abraham Lincoln, an obscure Illinois lawyer to the pinnacle of political power.
The election was complex and difficult. There were four contenders for the office.
1. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) our greatest president was a dark horse in the campaign. Lincoln was a moderate on the flammable slavery issue. His goal was to preserve the Union even if that meant making an accomodation with the Southern firebrands who opposed his position. Lincoln won on the third ballot at the Republican National Convention in Chicago after defeating his chief rival New Yorker William Seward. Seward had served two terms as Governor and Senator of New York and was a heavy favorite to win the nomination. However, many opposed him due to his strong anti-slavery stand. Seward patched up things with Lincoln since he wanted to become Secretary of State (which he did) in the Lincoln administration opening the way to a run for POTUS in 1864. Thurlow Weed, the canny Tammany Hall operative, worked closely with Lincoln and Seward to ensure Old Abe's victory at the polls on November 6, 1860. Lincoln would win the election carrying such needed states as Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Illinois. Lincoln was also able to win the American Party's support. The Wide-Awake movement of over
500,00 young Lincoln fans helped stir up voter support for the lanky Illinoisan.
2. Stephen Douglas. The little giant won the Illinois Senate race from Lincoln in 1858. He was the standard bearer for the Northern Democrats. He was sunk by his advocacy for the Kansas-Nebraska Bill and the suspicions of the South.
3.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought the title was a bit overblown but this is a solid effort to show the political acumen of a man too often treated like an icon rather than a human being. Solid in research: even-handed in approach. This is well worth reading by Lincoln scholars and fans
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