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This review is from: Lincoln Reconsidered: Essays on the Civil War Era (Paperback)
Famous Lincoln scholar David Herbert Donald first wrote this collection essays as he was preparing his monumental biography of Abraham Lincoln, decades ago. The collection, periodically updated and reprinted, hold up pretty well as an antidote to Lincoln the myth, offering instead Lincoln the man of flesh and blood.
Many of the myths with which Donald does battle are still prevalent, and his thoughtful essays provide insight and context on a remarkable man, raised on the American frontier and largely self-made, who became a successful lawyer, politician, and wartime president. Donald discusses Lincoln's background, education, his Whig politican background, and the adroit way in which he managed his administration during the Civil War. Among the touchy issues are Lincoln's handling of the Emancipation Proclomation and his selective curbing of civil war during the rebellion. Donald acknowledges many contradictions, but offers some pathways to understanding a complex man whose life has been distorted by both historians and more recent politicians; highly recommended to students of Lincoln and of the Civil War.