The election of 1864, conducted as the Civil War raged, was perhaps the most significant presidential election ever. Abraham Lincoln, revered by many but also savaged by a partisan press and a contentious Congress, faced an opponent of complex and sometimes puzzling motives, General George McClellan. It's no exaggeration to say that the outcome of the election would not only influence the outcome of the war, but that it would affect the future direction of the U.S. John C. Waugh's Reelecting Lincoln
, which reads like a novel filled with remarkable characters, provides a lucid narrative of the events.
From Library Journal
The Civil War engulfing the nation consumed Lincoln's energies. The search for a general, leadership of the Republican Party, distribution of patronage, emancipation of the slaves, mediation of a tumultuous cabinet?all filled the president's first term. Veteran newspaper correspondent Waugh (Class of 1846, LJ 2/1/94) examines the impact of these issues on Lincoln's reelection in 1864. Democrats selected Gen. George B. McClellan to run on a peace plank. A few Republicans wanted to nominate Salmon P. Chase and others hoped General Ulysses Grant would accept the nomination, but Lincoln, who wanted to see the war through to victory, was the party's choice. Using a variety of sources, including newspapers (but not Lincoln's hometown papers in Illinois), Waugh's narrative has a newspaper style including anecdotes, short paragraphs, and numerous quotes will appeal to a lay audience. Recommended for public libraries.?Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley Coll., Mt. Carmel, Ill.
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