David Herbert Donald
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A masterful work by Pulitzer Prize–winning author David Herbert Donald, Lincoln is a stunning portrait of Abraham Lincoln’s life and presidency.
Donald brilliantly depicts Lincoln’s gradual ascent from humble beginnings in rural Kentucky to the ever-expanding political circles in Illinois, and finally to the presidency of a country divided by civil war. Donald goes beyond biography, illuminating the gradual development of Lincoln’s character, chronicling his tremendous capacity for evolution and growth, thus illustrating what made it possible for a man so inexperienced and so unprepared for the presidency to become a great moral leader. In the most troubled of times, here was a man who led the country out of slavery and preserved a shattered Union—in short, one of the greatest presidents this country has ever seen.
the benefit of the white man, to be administered by white men.” In advocating equal rights for the Negro, Republicans failed to understand that “any mixture or amalgamation with inferior races” could only lead to “degeneration, demoralization, and degradation.” He ended with a fling at the Buchanan administration and the federal officeholders whom it had appointed for entering into “an unholy, unnatural alliance” with the Republicans. The next night, from the same balcony of the same Chicago
engineer, he developed a ring of fortifications to protect the city from surprise attacks. Replacing the useless ninety-day soldiers who had formed McDowell’s force (most of their terms were about to expire) with three-year volunteers, he began rigorously training his men and kept a close eye on them as they performed close-order drills, did target practice, and engaged in practice maneuvers. Dashing about on a magnificent horse, he seemed omnipresent, and no detail of his soldiers’ life was too
canals. The vote marked a shift in Lincoln’s position on internal improvements. He had long been a supporter of improved river transportation, of canals, of better roads, and, eventually, of railroads, all of which were part of his vision of a prosperous society, linked together by a network of commerce and communication. For a time he hoped that the federal government would distribute “the proceeds of the sales of the public lands to the several states, to enable our state, in common with
for me to consult it in preparing my account of Lincoln’s appellate practice. 100 “and in friendship”: “Stephen T. Logan Talks About Lincoln,” p. 5. 100 until March 1845: Angle, “Where Lincoln Practiced Law,” pp. 29–30. 100 a new partner: The following paragraphs are drawn from Donald, Lincoln’s Herndon, pp. 18–21. 101 this new partner: Ibid., chap. 4. 102 “to jump far”: WHH, “Lincoln as Lawyer Politician and Statesman,” HWC. 102 “a few other books”: Angle, “Where Lincoln Practiced Law,” p.
embodied the promise of American life. Economically it stood for growth, for development, for progress. Clay’s American System sought to link the manufacturing of the Northeast with the grain production of the West and the cotton and tobacco crops of the South, so that the nation’s economy would become one vast interdependent web. When economic interests worked together, so would political interests, and sectional rivalries would be forgotten in a powerful American nationalism. Class antagonisms