A collection of essays by scholars on Abraham Lincoln's influence, whether enduring or ebbing, in other countries. Unsurprisingly, leaders going through special political challenges, such as throwing off colonial masters (Africa), confronting communism (Berlin in the 1960s), or attempting to suppress internal regional conflicts (China and Spain), often looked to facets of Mr. Lincoln's life for inspiration. Somewhat surprisingly, the book also covers views held on Mr. Lincoln within one area of the United States, the Old South.
How the United States government over time used this heroic figure of the 1860s to meet its ongoing foreign policy objectives is also related.
This book, like all such academic collections, varies in quality given the range of writers and specific topics discussed. It is a great help that one of its two British editors is the noted Lincoln biographer, Professor Richard Carwardine.
A general reader, holding a decent prior level of knowledge about Abraham Lincoln, a keen interest in this great man and an interest in world affairs, will likely find this volume quite rewarding.
This book asks the twin questions: “What influence did Abraham Lincoln have on politics and social change outside the United States,” and “How did thinkers and politicians in other countries view and refer to Lincoln actions and political philosophy”?
Short answers: Not much. And: However was most convenient to them.
The essayists have done a good bit of research, and produced a book of only occasional interest. The sole essay that had a chance of being interesting -- looking at how Lincoln is remembered in the former Confederacy -- fizzles. There seems to be no discernible general opinion of Lincoln in the South (possibly a vague dislike) and the author wastes half his time on obvious eccentrics, people of no political or intellectual influence. The essayist is also hampered in making any fine distinctions in American politics by a vantage point so far to the Left that he uses the terms “conservative,” “government-hating,” “libertarian,” and “Tea Party” as synonyms.
I don’t regret the two bucks spent on this e-book. I do wonder why I felt compelled to slog through it.
This is a book of essays about Lincoln in different countries around the world. I have not read all of them, but the ones I have are really interesting, well written, and informative. I loved the one on Spain by Boyd and on Latin America by Miller. In both settings Lincoln became the hero of liberal republicans, of course. Vorenberg's essay on Lincoln and France was thoroughly engrossing. The essays dealing with Britain and Ireland were especially good because different parties enlisted Lincoln and his words on their side during the late 19th and 20th centuries. This was an ingenious project and the result makes for very interesting reading for anyone interested in Lincoln and world opinion about America during the century or more after Lincoln's death.