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Lincoln's Way: How Six Great Presidents Created American Power Hardcover – September 16, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A must-read for lovers of American history—a fresh and spirited presentation of some of our greatest leaders, with special emphasis on key ideas, presented in a broad intellectual framework. An unforgettable book. (James MacGregor Burns, Williams College)
While distilling the essence of Lincoln's philosophy and showing its impact on later successful presidents, the author suggests a reasonable path for breaking the contemporary stalemate between liberals and conservatives. Sure to provoke interest and debate—it deserves the widest possible attention.(William D. Pederson, Louisiana State University in Shreveport)
Readers . . . will be intrigued by [Striner's] highly accessible study.(Publishers Weekly)
[Striner] makes a strong case for approaching American power and policies from a long historical perspective. A book to stir debate, even anger, but well worth the insights it offers to those studying U.S. presidential leadership. (Library Journal)
Striner injects . . . a new point of view. . . . He tells a fascinating history. . . . Striner blows away the thick smoke and breaks the mirrors to reveal a sane, middle option for people of vision to use our collective assets to build a strong nation that can provide us the essence of our unique system of governance—the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. (The Roanoke Times)
Drawing from Herbert Croly's The Promise of an American Life (1909), Striner argues Hamiltonian means for Jeffersonian ends employed by men who 'blended wisdom and power from conservative and liberal thought.' Beginning with Lincoln, who 'held aloft American ideals,' the reader walks a boulevard experiencing numerous detours while delighting in such moments as Eisenhower's 'middle way' serving as a reflection of Theodore Roosevelt's 'cautious progressivism.' Numerous historical asides . . . highlight the philosophical underpinnings of the founders' desire for American power exercised as guardianship. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. (CHOICE)
This brilliant new book explores a subject that is especially poignant and urgent today: the rise (under six great presidents), and steady collapse since, of leadership and bipartisanship. . . . Lincoln's Way seamlessly weaves a very sophisticated discussion of complex financial issues as well as cultural changes into the narrative. . . . This is an invigorating, astonishingly clear exploration. (Geoffrey Wawro, author of A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire)
Top Customer Reviews
The results of Striner's analysis are entirely agreeable to me. The Presidents he portray as examples for the encumbent just happen to be my personal choices for greatness--at least since Lincoln; I'm a great admirer of George Washington, but he was a unique individual in a unique situation. Maybe at some time in the future Striner will turn his attention to him.
Just by a coincidence I had a few days ago written some notes for myself on the further contradictions of Jefferson's character and performance, noting the contrast between his agrarian libertarianism and his high-handed behavior in the White House. So it was gratifying to find something of the same strain in Striner's treatment. I agree with Striner that radical, unconsidered libertarianism is one of the historic strains poisoning our present discourse.
This is an important book, and should be read by every concerned citizen.