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Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe Paperback – November 27, 2007


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Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe + The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War + Hamilton's Curse: How Jefferson's Arch Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution--and What It Means for Americans Today
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Reprint edition (November 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307338428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307338426
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this laughable screed, a senior fellow at the libertarian/free market Ludwig von Mises Institute charges that most scholars of the Civil War are part of a "Lincoln cult" and determined to fool the American public into thinking that our 16th president was a hero. At the root of the author's loathing of Lincoln is an ideological commitment to states' sovereignty, a doctrine largely undone by the Civil War. DiLorenzo believes that the centralized nation-state that emerged after the war is incompatible with true democracy. His supposed revelations–-that Northerners owned slaves into the 19th century; that Lincoln advocated the relocation of black Americans to Liberia; that Lincoln did not, at the outset of the war, aim to end slavery—are well known to anyone who has read one of the many recent books on Lincoln. But Lincoln is not DiLorenzo's real target; he saves his most vitriolic bombast for the scholars who dominate American universities (most notably Eric Foner) and who, he charges, are "cover-up artists" and "propagandists." DiLorenzo accuses them of using their Lincoln mythology to advocate big government and other "imperialistic" and "totalitarian" policies. DiLorenzo accuses the "cultists" of having a political agenda. He may well be hoisted by his own petard. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

DiLorenzo directs acid criticism at President Lincoln in this espousal of "Lost Cause" ideology. Lincoln was the legal winner of the 1860 presidential election, and it is vital to contrast the legality of his election with the speculative right to nullification and secession that DiLorenzo champions in this defense of the Lost Cause. Intellectually, DiLorenzo has a nugget of a case, but it is overargued and is not measured against the secessionists' thwarting of a legitimate election by sundering the U.S. Emotionally, the text gains energy from DiLorenzo's claim that a "cult" of biographers and Civil War historians conceals the historical Lincoln from the public, but if this cabal exits, it is unable to stanch a steady flow of anti-Lincoln books. However, general readers are accustomed to noncritical admiration of Lincoln and might be motivated by DiLorenzo's assertive, free-swinging style into exploring the validity of his argument. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Thomas J. DiLorenzo is the author of The Real Lincoln and How Capitalism Saved America. A professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, he has written for the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, Reader's Digest, Barron's, and many other publications. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Customer Reviews

If you want to know the truth about the "Great Emancipator" - read this book.
Valiant S. Vetter
In fact, Lincoln, single handedly destroyed our Republican form of governance in America and he created the Democratic state...Socialism dressed up as freedom!
Danny Gonzales
This book by Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo explodes the Lincoln Myth that, sadly, has been perpetuated for so long.
Doug Stewart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

648 of 698 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on December 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Union was formed by the voluntary agreement of the States; and in uniting together they have not forfeited their nationality, nor have they been reduced to the condition of one and the same people. If one of the states chooses to withdraw from the compact, it would be difficult to disprove its right of doing so, and the Federal Government would have no means of maintaining its claims either by force or right."--Alexis de Tocqueville

I teach American history at a community college. The country that our Founding Fathers established, politically, is much different from the country we have today. Most Americans, if they even think about our early history, interpret it through the current nationalistic perspective. "The Union is inviolable." Thus, the South was wrong for breaking it, the North (and Lincoln) to be honored for preserving it.

It's not quite that easy. Contrary to one review of this book, the right to secede was almost taken for granted in early America. Our Founding Fathers seceded from England; who could deny the same right to others who did not "consent" to the government they lived under? Texas seceded from Mexico, and that was ok, too; that state joined the Union. But the South couldn't secede from the Union? That's really what the Civil War was fought about. It was actually the North, more often than not, that wanted to secede early in our history. Vermont threatened to secede over the Louisiana Purchase. Massachusetts threatened to secede over the Embargo Act of 1807, the War of 1812, and the annexation of Texas in 1845. Secession as a right was taught to the cadets at West Point. Jefferson, Hamilton, even Lincoln said it was a right that was "to liberate the world.
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292 of 333 people found the following review helpful By Robert Hawes on April 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." - George Orwell, 1984.

Imagine an alternate world where the American patriots lost their war for independence against the British Empire. How would that loss have influenced American culture? What would American school children be taught about those patriots today, in an America that was still part of Great Britain? Imagine another alternate world in which Nazi Germany defeated the Allies in World War II. How would the official view of the war have differed in a Nazi-dominated Europe, as opposed to the free Europe of our world? Would Belgian children in such an alternate world be taught that Hitler was a villain, or one of the great and good leaders of history?

All too often we assume that history is a true and faithful account of events as they actually took place and people as they actually were. We tend to forget that people who lived in the past (and recorded the events of those days), were ordinary human beings who were as vulnerable to the temptation to color events according to their own beliefs, agendas and prejudices as are people living today. For this reason, it behooves us to constantly re-investigate and re-evaluate the past in order to be certain that what we think of as the truth is, in fact, the truth. Much of how we view ourselves in the present, and how we view our path into the future, is based upon how we view the past. If that view is inaccurate, if it is tainted by the prejudices of those whose word we blindly accepted, then we ourselves are helping to perpetuate old injustices -- to say nothing of the fact that we are deluding ourselves.
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258 of 318 people found the following review helpful By Fruit Loop VINE VOICE on October 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Mr. DiLorenzo's well-written and well-researched expose of Abraham Lincoln tells truths long ignored aka hidden by modern historians, chiefly his undeserved reputation as "the Great Emancipator" who fought a war out of strictly benevolent reasons. The harsh truth, as he so eloquently points out, is that the Emancipation Proclamation freed NO ONE AT ALL, and that although slavery was one cause of the war, it was not "the" cause.

While no intelligent person alive today would not admit that the end of the south's "peculiar institution" was the only good thing that came out of the war, the ugly fact remains is that Lincoln was no less racist than most men of the day, and that he used that cause as a propaganda tool. The man who claimed to despise racism gave free reign to federal troops in the west to wipe out the Indian tribes while supposedly advocating equality to all in the northeast and south!

We do historical figures no honor by elevating them to martyrs, and prevent future generations from benefitting from the mistakes of the past. I highly recommend this book to serious students of politics, of the antebellum period, Lincoln buffs.
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244 of 303 people found the following review helpful By asfhgwt on October 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Far from being a "laughable screed," as claimed by the curiously anonymous Publishers Weekly editor above, Lincoln Unmasked is a serious, scholarly work. Only a thoroughly biased, ignorant critic would pen such a characterization, and his or her opinion should simply be ignored.

If you look at what Lincoln did -- as opposed to what he said -- it is hard to refute DiLorenzo's portrayal. Just take the single premise that despite the south's attack on Fort Sumter, it was Lincoln who decared war on his countrymen. Think about it for a moment. What kind of leader sends troops to kill his fellow citizens? Even assuming that the south wasn't maneuvered and provoked into the attack (it was), and that there were casualties at Ft. Sumter (there were not), what would a reasonable person -- let alone a leader -- do in response? Would a reasonable person try to understand what had happened, to meet with the "attackers" -- or would he immediately say "kill them"? Would a great President negotiate with states which wanted to leave the Union, try to keep them in the fold -- or would he declare "stay or die," and plunge the entire nation into conflict? Would he try to keep chaos and calamity to a minimum -- or condemn 600,000 to death in a ghastly internecine war, which he personally micro-managed?

Just considering that one premise -- and there are many, many more that cast Lincoln in an extremely negative light -- it is difficult to understand how anyone, let alone so-called academics, could consider Lincoln a great President, or even a decent human being. The group of "Lincoln scholars" who idolize him can, indeed, be labeled a cult, because their adulation is based not on Lincoln's deeds, but on an "ends justifies the means" rationale that "he saved the Union," regardless of cost.
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