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The Lincoln No One Knows: The Mysterious Man Who Ran the Civil War
"The Black Presidency"
Rated by Vanity Fair as one of our most lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today, this book is a provocative and lively look into the meaning of America's first black presidency. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
It amazes me how hysterical and insulting people will get when faced with facts about something contrary to what they are familiar with. So many Lincoln quotes, for instance, have long been known to be sheer fabrication; mythology, simply untrue and not originating from Lincoln at all. So many assertions about Lincoln's intentions and beliefs have been made that are utterly contrary to what Lincoln himself said and wrote. As with any historical figure, there are people that idolize and create myths, and there are those who are real historians, who actually do their homework. This book is a product of the work of a person in the latter category.
Shocking and contrary to what we were told as school children about Lincoln, the story of the real Lincoln is much more interesting and base than the myth makers would have us believe. Lincoln was, after all, a politician, a Statist, and a Federalist. He declared martial law, took away citizens basic constitutional rights, jailed newspaper reporters and statesmen that disagreed with him, and went against the founding father's explicit intentions as well as the Constitution and Bill of Rights in creating a massive, unrestricted, powerful centralized federal government. Lincoln, as it turns out, was no saint after all. The real story is always grittier and more interesting than the fantasy. If you want a taste of the real Lincoln, and if you are capable of dealing with some unpleasant facts about the man and the legend, read this book, it's a good start.
Why only four stars? For several reasons. First of all, he gives too much time and attention to trivial matters such as Lincoln's marriage, his childhood accident, and his physical appearance. Not enough time is spent on how Lincoln's presidency still affects us today. Secondly, this book is quite unlikely to convince anyone who is not already skeptical of Lincoln's actions. Garrison does not make an extremely compelling case; his repeated reference to Lincoln's life as being mysterious is sure to bug some people. While the negative reviews of this book are silly and often inaccurate, it is worth noting that the book didn't impress nearly as many people as Thomas DiLorenzo's books on the same subject. I would recommend both of DiLorenzo's books on Lincoln as a good starting place for a second look at Lincoln, rather than this book.
In closing, while this book is worth reading, it is less thought provoking and persuasive than other books on this same subject. It certainly should not be the first unflattering book on Lincoln you read. But if you are open-minded on the subject and have already read other books that lean in this direction, this book would be well worth owning, even if only as a reference.
I am the author of: When I Was a Child: Based on a True Story of Love, Death, and Survival on the Kansas Prairie
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is mistitled because it contains absolutely nothing that is new and certainly nothing that is not presented in better fashion elsewhere. Read morePublished on November 10, 2007 by Dennis Brandt
Some may find the book ofensive.As Lincoln is one of the greatest American Presidents and heros of all time,but I think to read this book you need to keep an open mind. Read morePublished on September 15, 2002 by FlyingDream