The story of Abraham Lincoln’s faith and intellectual life—updated and revised with a new preface—from the three-time winner of the Lincoln Prize and best-selling Civil War–era historian Allen Guelzo.
Allen Guelzo’s peerless account of America’s most celebrated president explores the role of ideas in Lincoln’s life, treating him as a serious thinker deeply involved in the nineteenth-century debates over politics, religion, and culture. Through masterful and original scholarly work, Guelzo relates the outward events of Lincoln’s life to his inner spiritual struggles and sets them both against the intellectual backdrop of his age. The sixteenth president emerges as a creative yet profoundly paradoxical man—possessed of deep moral and religious character yet without adherence to organized religion.
Since its original publication in 1999, Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President has garnered numerous accolades, not least the prestigious Lincoln Prize. After writing several other acclaimed studies of Lincoln and other aspects of Civil War–era history, Guelzo returns to update this important early work for a second edition. A new preface addresses the developments in Lincoln scholarship in the years since the book’s original publication and offers Guelzo’s fascinating retrospective look at the unusual path he took to becoming a Lincoln scholar.
Table of Contents
Map of Abraham Lincoln’s Illinois Preface Introduction: The Strife of Ideas 1. The American System 2. The Costs of Union 3. The Doctrine of Necessity 4. The Fuel of Interest 5. Moral Principle Is All That Unites Us 6. An Accidental President 7. War in a Conciliatory Style 8. Voice out of the Whirlwind 9. Whig Jupiter 10. Malice toward None Epilogue: The Redeemer President A Note on the Sources Index
Allen C. Guelzo is a New York Times best-selling author, senior research scholar in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University, and the director of the Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship for Princeton's James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He has published several works on Civil War-era history, including Robert E. Lee: A Life, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion, Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America.
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION:
“It is a testament to the strength of Redeemer President that the matters it addresses resist easy summary. The value of the book itself, however, is easy enough to state: Out of the countless volumes written about our 16th president, it ranks quite simply among the best.” — The Wall Street Journal
“Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President is the best study of Lincoln’s religious thought, and all the better because it situates that thought in the context of Lincoln’s whole career. Guelzo’s purpose is to take Lincoln seriously ‘as a man of ideas.’ He succeeds admirably.” — The Times Literary Supplement
“Is it possible that amid the voluminous literature on Abraham Lincoln, there is room for yet another study? Allen Guelzo’s Abraham Lincoln eloquently proves that there is, since religion has been sorely neglected by historians of Lincoln and the Civil War.” — Publishers Weekly
“Guelzo’s book, the first true intellectual biography of the man the author calls America’s ‘redeemer president,’ ranks among the most significant half-dozen studies of Lincoln during a remarkable decade of scholarship. . . . Especially perceptive is Guelzo’s portrayal of Lincoln’s odyssey from youthful scoffer to perhaps most religious of US presidents, ever rejecting the ritual and denominational dogma of public worship but increasingly taken with a personal form of Calvinist spirituality culminating in his immortal Second Inaugural Address, arguably the most profound exploration of religious values ever penned by an American author. . . Recommended for literate readers at all levels.” — Choice
“This rich and subtle study of Lincoln’s intellectual life well deserves to have received the prestigious Lincoln Prize; it is superb.” — The Wilson Quarterly
“With the freshness of insight often afforded scholars who cross disciplinary boundaries, the author, a student of intellectual and religious history, makes an important contribution to the field of Lincoln studies. . . . This is a thoughtful, engaging, and provocative book that will enlighten both Civil War specialists and students of American history.” — The Historian
“A thoughtful, original book written in muscular prose. . . . Guelzo has contributed a new perspective on this much-analyzed figure.” — The American Historical Review
“One of the subtlest and deepest studies of Lincoln’s faith and thought in many years. . . . Seldom has the complex connection between Lincoln’s predispositions and Lincoln’s achievements been more insightfully studied than in Allen Guelzo’s superb book.” — The Weekly Standard
“Guelzo’s is a satisfying portrait, perhaps because he has been a scholar of Jonathan Edwards, so is more conscious of the intellectual and political contexts that preceded and made Lincoln, but less concerned with the retrospective usefulness of Lincoln as a national icon.” — The Historical Journal
“This co-winner of the 1999 Lincoln Prize is a subtle, insightful, and convincing analysis of Abraham Lincoln. . . . Guelzo’s analysis is sound and generally convincing. . . . This is one of the most important books in a decade rich in Lincoln scholarship.” — The Filson Club History Quarterly
“Is there really a place for yet another work on Abraham Lincoln? Allen C. Guelzo has superbly demonstrated that there is. . . . Not only does the reader of this volume learn much about Lincoln but also about those intertwining economic, intellectual, political, and religious aspects of American life that so influenced the thought of Abraham Lincoln and others in the nineteenth century. This book deserves its rightful place among other exemplary Lincoln biographies.” — The Journal of Southern History
“Solid, well researched, and thought-provoking. A welcome addition to our ceaseless national fascination with Kentucky’s most famous citizen. . . . The millennial scholarship on Lincoln is off to an excellent start.” — Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
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