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Lincoln at Peoria: The Turning Point Hardcover – June 13, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Lehrman documents how Lincoln, in this rhetorical masterpiece, launched his powerful attack on the Kansas-Nebraska Act, passed by Congress only five months before. The Kansas-Nebraska Act voided the Missouri Compromise, allowing slavery to spread to northern parts of the Louisiana Purchase. Lincoln clearly saw that the Act undermined the hope that slavery would naturally take the road to extinction as America spread west.
Lehrman shows how most of Lincoln's future antislavery arguments were contained, at least in embryonic form, in this trail-blazing address. It was a speech that changed Lincoln, making him a permanent enemy to the expansion of slavery and the amoral pro-choice arguments of Senator Douglas, and setting the nation on the path to civil war.
by Lewis E. Lehrman
published by Stackpole Books
"Our republican robe is soiled, and trailed in the dust. Let us repurify it. Let us turn and wash it white, in the spirit, if not the blood, of the Revolution?" Mr. Lincoln, Peoria October 16, 1854.
Lincoln at Peoria is a stout tome of 412 pages, adorned by 808 footnotes and 14 pages of bibliography. The complete transcription of the three-hour speech in question occupies 51 of the pages.
At first glance, this work is a detailed analysis of what the Mr. Lehrman considers the defining point in the political career of Abraham Lincoln. He proceeds by investigating the development of Lincoln's political views leading to that precise and settled presentation at Peoria, dissecting the speech in great detail, and thoroughly demonstrating that Lincoln was guided by the foundations established therewith, from that point on until his death.
Surprisingly, what emerged for this reader was a distilled and simple picture of the temperament and philosophy of Abraham Lincoln. Contrary to some who would claim his mantle in our times, the author paints Lincoln as a conserver, pointing out that he was a "self-described conservative." Although he would use harsh means as President in order to save the Union, Lincoln was neither a radical nor a revolutionary seeking to set the nation on some new path - on the contrary, he was a purist and reformer, always urging a return to first and foundational principles. And he found those principles foremost in the Declaration of Independence, which he placed on an almost scriptural pedestal.
"In Lincoln's judgment, the objective moral order of the Declaration of Independence was timeless, universal, and immutable.Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
On October 15, 1854, Abraham Lincoln delivered a big speech in a small town in Illinois called Peoria. Read morePublished 21 months ago by arthur banner
Digs into the events prior to the Peoria speech and then show the progression of Lincoln's case for emancipation after the speech.Published on August 3, 2014 by Sam Motes
This is without a doubt, one of the best books written on Lincoln & our American history. It gives the reader a very good in site on the politics of that day, which don't differ... Read morePublished on December 14, 2013 by James V. Trotta
Having lived in Peoria for a short time, when I saw this book available for free, it piqued my interest. Read morePublished on November 26, 2013 by J. Robideau
I had read this before and wanted it as a gift for a good friend. But I re-read Lehrman's book & saw the line between savvy country lawyer to the great emancipator. Outstanding.Published on August 12, 2013 by C. R. Keenan
Looks at the broad themes of Lincoln's speech, but rarely goes into detailed analysis. In fact, Lehrman doesn't make much of his own analysis at all, primarily relying on the... Read morePublished on May 23, 2013 by Ryne Everett