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The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War Paperback – December 2, 2003


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The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War + Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe + Everything You Were Taught about the Civil War Is Wrong, Ask a Southerner!
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Reprint edition (December 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761526463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761526469
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (521 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A devastating critique of America's most famous president."
—Joseph Sobran, commentator and nationally syndicated columnist

"Today's federal government is considerably at odds with that envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. Thomas J. DiLorenzo gives an account of how this came about in The Real Lincoln."
—Walter E. Williams, from the foreword

"A peacefully negotiated secession was the best way to handle all the problems facing America in 1860. A war of coercion was Lincoln's creation. It sometimes takes a century of more to bring an important historical event into perspective. This study does just that and leaves the reader asking, 'Why didn't we know this before?' "
—Donald Livingston, professor of philosophy, Emory University

"Professor DiLorenzo has penetrated to the very heart and core of American history with a laser beam of fact and analysis."
—Clyde Wilson, professor of history, University of South Carolina, and editor, The John C. Calhoun Papers

From the Inside Flap

A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War
Most Americans consider Abraham Lincoln to be the greatest president in history. His legend as the Great Emancipator has grown to mythic proportions as hundreds of books, a national holiday, and a monument in Washington, D.C., extol his heroism and martyrdom. But what if most everything you knew about Lincoln were false? What if, instead of an American hero who sought to free the slaves, Lincoln were in fact a calculating politician who waged the bloodiest war in american history in order to build an empire that rivaled Great Britain's? In The Real Lincoln, author Thomas J. DiLorenzo uncovers a side of Lincoln not told in many history books and overshadowed by the immense Lincoln legend.
Through extensive research and meticulous documentation, DiLorenzo portrays the sixteenth president as a man who devoted his political career to revolutionizing the American form of government from one that was very limited in scope and highly decentralized?as the Founding Fathers intended?to a highly centralized, activist state. Standing in his way, however, was the South, with its independent states, its resistance to the national government, and its reliance on unfettered free trade. To accomplish his goals, Lincoln subverted the Constitution, trampled states' rights, and launched a devastating Civil War, whose wounds haunt us still. According to this provacative book, 600,000 American soldiers did not die for the honorable cause of ending slavery but for the dubious agenda of sacrificing the independence of the states to the supremacy of the federal government, which has been tightening its vise grip on our republic to this very day.
You will discover a side of Lincoln that you were probably never taught in school?a side that calls into question the very myths that surround him and helps explain the true origins of a bloody, and perhaps, unnecessary war.

"A devastating critique of America's most famous president."
?Joseph Sobran, commentator and nationally syndicated columnist

"Today's federal government is considerably at odds with that envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. Thomas J. DiLorenzo gives an account of How this come about in The Real Lincoln."
?Walter E. Williams, from the foreword

"A peacefully negotiated secession was the best way to handle all the problems facing Americans in 1860. A war of coercion was Lincoln's creation. It sometimes takes a century or more to bring an important historical event into perspective. This study does just that and leaves the reader asking, 'Why didn't we know this before?'"
?Donald Livingston, professor of philosophy, Emory University

"Professor DiLorenzo has penetrated to the very heart and core of American history with a laser beam of fact and analysis."
?Clyde Wilson, professor of history, University of South Carolina, and editor, The John C. Calhoun Papers


From 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

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

576 of 691 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on March 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If there are any sacred cows in America, the one at the head of the herd has got to be Abraham Lincoln. Our culture gleefully villifies almost everyone. Psycho-biographies, in which the darkest interior rooms of the subject are exposed to light, are the rage these days. But somehow Lincoln for the most part has managed to escape all this. He's still the great American hero, venerated by layperson and scholar alike, sometimes to the point of embarrassing hagiography. (I once knew a history professor, for example, who insisted that students refer to Lincoln, both in class discussions and in term papers, as "MR. Lincoln." His class could just as well have been offered by the theology department.)
Thomas DiLorenzo refuses to genuflect before Lincoln's altar. In *The Real Lincoln*, a book that's guaranteed to infuriate a wide audience, ranging from Civil War buffs to Lincoln scholars to African-Americans to political liberals to history traditionalists, DiLorenzo claims that Lincoln's real historical legacy is the strong centralized state that characterizes the American political system today. From first to last, claims DiLorenzo, Lincoln's political vision was the creation of a Whiggish empire of protectionist tariffs, government subsidized railroads, and nationalization of the money supply. In the first year and a half of his administration, he pushed through much of this agenda. The average tariff rate tripled, railroads began raking in government money (a "war necessity"), and the National Currency Acts monopolized the money supply.
So far none of this is terribly alarming. Even admirers of Lincoln will admit much of what DiLorenzo says about Lincoln's economic dream and Whig leanings.
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450 of 560 people found the following review helpful By K. Amesbury on October 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
DiLorenzo's book challenged virtually everything I thought I knew about Lincoln, so I did the logical thing - I looked into what points his critics cited in panning his book. I was surprised by what I found. Most critics challenged his "right" to be a historian, slamming him for citing the wrong edition of a book (right page, wrong edition), or citing to the wrong page of a book. Other criticisms were conclusory and not fact-based. When the smoke had cleared, it seemed that the major criticisms were nits picked by those adored Lincoln. None confronted DiLorenzo's facts. (This is a far cry from, for example, the Michael A. Bellesiles book, "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture", whose critics shredded the book on a factual basis.)

So I read the book.

And was blown away.

Here is the explanation for how America went from the land of the free to the land of the government-dominated. Here is a thorough explanation how the Federal Government went from a minimalist government with scant intrusion into the lives of its people, to the modern day Leviathan which consumes 1/3 of every dollar we earn and gives us endless regulation and grief. Here is the seed of the welfare state, the precursor to Roosevelt's "New Deal" and Johnson's "Great Society" - and the beginning of the end of the Constitution.

Lincoln locked up thousands of those who disagreed with him. He cared not at all about slavery as a moral issue. He created the sort of Federal spending on programs that were previously successful private ventures, and which, as government programs, have put us trillions of dollars in debt.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mitchell King on April 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Growing up, Lincoln was my favorite president. This book isn't the first information I've come across in the last few years that have changed my attitude toward Mr. Lincoln. He was a remarkable man, no doubt, but thanks to him we have a federal government that can overpower states and individuals for the sake of "The Union". This is not what our Founding Fathers intended. The Civil War really started over state's rights. Today we see the same argument rearing its head over the health care bill with several states challenging the legality of the federal government again dictating policy to states who would rather decide for themselves. A good read.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Doc Arnett on March 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
I grew up literally in view of the Jefferson Davis Memorial Monument in western Kentucky and less than a hundred miles from Abraham Lincoln's birthplace, also in western Kentucky. Even as a young child, I had a keen awareness of sharing a native state with the presidents of both sides in the Civil War. Yet, I always had greater interest, greater admiration and greater appreciation for Abraham Lincoln. Other than Jesus Christ himself, there was no historical figure I admired more. That continued throughout my growing up, my teaching career and earning my PhD at Ohio State University.

One book has changed that.

I still regard Lincoln as a man of great courage and determination. But Prof. DiLorenzo's abundant use of historical documents, rhetorical analysis and clear presentation of rational persuasion provides something way beyond southern resentment in this review of the actual actions in a historical context often ignored. He provides copious documentation of the racism of the northern states, the extensive support of the right of secession, also in the north, and probes the rejected alternatives open to Lincoln and the Union forces, both in regard to the issue of emancipation and of the way in which the war was conducted in violation of long accepted principles of "civilized warfare," an oxymoron if ever there was one.

Having seen first hand how assassination completely altered the perception and analysis of John F. Kennedy, I should have been suspicious that some of that same phenomenon had colored historical treatment of Mr. Lincoln.
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