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Starred Review. Given the importance of Lincoln's role as commander-in-chief to the nation's very survival, says McPherson, this role has been underexamined. McPherson (Battle Cry of Freedom), the doyen of Civil War historians, offers firm evidence of Lincoln's military effectiveness in this typically well-reasoned, well-presented analysis. Lincoln exercised the right to take any necessary measures to preserve the union and majority rule, including violating longstanding civil liberties (though McPherson considers the infringements milder than those adopted by later presidents). As McPherson shows, Lincoln understood the synergy of political and military decision-making; the Emancipation Proclamation, for instance, harmonized the principles of union and freedom with a strategy of attacking the crucial Confederate resource of slave labor. Lincoln's commitment to linking policy and strategy made him the most hands-on American commander-in-chief; he oversaw strategy and offered operational advice, much of it shrewd and perceptive. Lincoln may have been an amateur of war, but McPherson successfully establishes him as America's greatest war leader. (Oct. 7)
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Reviewers indicated that they would have embraced any new book by James McPherson on any aspect of the Civil War period. But current events likely compelled them to recommend this highly readable, informative book with special enthusiasm. The nature of the president's war powers, particularly the precedent set by Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus, has been a central question of the Bush presidency. And as the highest office in the land is passed to Barack Obama, who is both a great admirer of Lincoln and who will become the only other president to hail from Illinois, McPherson's analysis should be particularly timely. Critics agreed we could have no better guide; as Timothy Rutten wrote in the Los Angeles Times, McPherson is "one of those scholars whose ingrained integrity simply precludes him from stacking the historical deck."
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A must read if you enjoy historical fiction. Not a huge fan of history myself but I surprisingly loved every minute reading this war novel.Published 5 days ago by K. A. Murphy
I stumbled upon this book on a discount shelf at Barnes & Noble. I read the book and enjoyed it. I have listened via Audbile several times and absolutely love the book and its... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Dan D Anderson
I liked how it gave a broad overview of the civil war and the challenges Lincoln faced throughout. Good mixture of the military issues as well as the political situations which... Read morePublished 26 days ago by brian
Well written and informative. A good look into the part Lincoln played in the success to save the union.Published 1 month ago by Robert Gieski
Lincoln's Clairvoyance with regard to grand strategy is second to none. The book paints a clear picture that generals may lose battles but commanders in chief yet have the ability... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Stephanie J. Brown
In his book "Tried by War", McPherson takes an in depth look at Abraham Lincoln's role as commander-in-chief during the Civil War. Read morePublished 5 months ago by CJG
Famous Civil War historian writes a summary of Lincoln as the general of his generals. Local book group folks liked his other books better.Published 6 months ago by Claudia
Civil War scholar James McPherson takes his considerable knowledge and background of the events surrounding America’s most significant war and focuses on the response of one man –... Read morePublished 8 months ago by David W. Southworth
Reminds us how very fortunate we had a president of his caliber.Published 8 months ago by Kirk E. Johnson