In the first multivolume biography of Abraham Lincoln to be published in decades, Lincoln scholar Michael Burlingame offers a fresh look at the life of one of America's greatest presidents. Incorporating the field notes of earlier biographers along with decades of research in multiple manuscript archives and long-neglected newspapers, this remarkable work will both alter and reinforce our current understanding of America's 16th president.
In volume 2, Burlingame examines Lincoln's presidency and the trials of the Civil War. He supplies fascinating details on the crisis over Fort Sumter and the relentless office seekers who plagued Lincoln. He introduces listeners to the president's battles with hostile newspaper editors and his quarrels with incompetent field commanders. Burlingame also interprets Lincoln's private life, discussing his marriage to Mary Todd, the untimely death of his son, Willie, to disease in 1862, and his recurrent anguish over the enormous human costs of the war.
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Lincoln struggles to form a new party to take the place of the defunct Whig party. He has strong doubts that a peaceful end to slavery is possible. Joining with anti-slavery, anti-nativist forces, Lincoln launches the Republican Party of Illinois and the first Republican convention takes place. When the Dred Scott case is decided, Lincoln publicly denounces the court decision.
This point in Lincoln's life is marked by a sudden return to the practice of law. Highly moral and judicious, he often took little or no money for cases, and would not represent a client if he didn't believe in his case. Lincoln tried to settle many cases out of court. He developed a persona of being affable and open, especially to juries, giving him a noted advantage. He also served on the circuit courts, where lawyers had to prepare cases quickly and where lodging was often quite difficult to find.
In Chapter 1, we are introduced to Lincoln's lineage and the history of his grandparents, his parents and the various locations in which they settled. But this chapter is mainly devoted to Lincoln's father Thomas, recounting many of his ventures, personality traits and the intricacies of his relationship with his son. We also learn of his son's childhood experiences, mainly those in his first seven years, which helped shape Lincoln into the man he becomes.
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Cameron is replaced by Stanton. The president begins to supervise the army and take charge of his administration. By presidential order, McClellan is goaded into moving from a defensive position to an offensive. Instead of following Lincoln's plan, McClellan chooses an attack on Richmond. McClellan's indecisiveness and tardiness in battle have many pushing for a replacement. The Union suffers a crushing defeat in the Seven Days Battle. During all this, Willie Lincoln dies of fever.
Lincoln struggles with William Seward's thirst for power while the Fort Sumter question comes to the forefront of the nation's politics. To supply Fort Sumter would incite hostilities with the South and to desert Sumter would imply acknowledgment of the Confederacy. It is a decision that cannot be made lightly. As time goes by without a verdict, the North starts to question the strength of their government. Seizing the opportunity, Seward secretly begins negotiations with the South based on unfounded promises.
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This chapter begins with Lincoln's fight for a seat in congress against two other Whig candidates. This part of his life is notably marked by domestic disturbances, many of which shaped people's idea of Lincoln, the man. Taking a pro-tariff stance in his campaign, he is elected to congress in 1846. We learn of his affinity to poetry, which he avidly read and wrote, and see the development of the 'old Abe' archetype.
Dissatisfaction with the Emancipation Proclamation and lack of military victory heightens the discontent with the administration. Trouble comes with the destructive rivalry within the army and the threat of the French intervening on behalf of the Confederacy. The president's decision concerning the Minnesota Sioux Uprising infuriates the West. Lincoln must decide what to do with a demoralized army of the Potomac. His compassion with the troops increases his popularity within the military. General Lee begins his second invasion of the North.
Publishers Weekly describes this book as "the most meticulously researched Lincoln biography ever written. Burlingame's Lincoln comes alive as the author unfolds vast amounts of new research while breathing new life into familiar stories. It is the essential title for the bicentennial." Publishers Weekly also notes, "The book need not be heard in one sitting. Each part stands alone." Now Gildan Media brings to you, chapter by chapter, what Doris Kearns Goodwin calls a "…profound and masterful portrait."
Publishers Weekly describes this book as “the most meticulously researched Lincoln biography ever written." Burlingame's Lincoln comes alive as the author unfolds vast amounts of new research while breathing new life into familiar stories. Publishers Weekly also notes, “The book need not be heard in one sitting. Each part stands alone.” Now Gildan Media brings to you, chapter by chapter, what Doris Kearns Goodwin calls a “…profound and masterful portrait.”
Lincoln's studies lead to him becoming a successful lawyer in Illinois. He is often published anonymously during the political campaign of 1837 and his works include detailed rebuttals against opposing politicians. As a pivotal member of the Whig party, Lincoln openly begins to condemn mob violence and lynching, and begins to publicly denounce slavery in his speeches. This chapter details much of the wrongdoings and disorderly conduct that mark the political landscape of the time.
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"Hold On with a Bulldog Grip and Chew and Choke as Much as Possible": The Grand Offensive: (May–August 1864): The Spring Offensive is launched. A bogus presidential proclamation calling for volunteers and prayers causes panic throughout the North. Grant and Lee battle for six weeks until severe losses force them to a halt. Congressional Radicals pass a bill that will allow Southern States readmittance to the Union as long as they give an oath that they never supported the Confederacy. Southern leaders spread bogus peace overtures. Lincoln reaffirms his commitment to the Emancipation.
In Lincoln and the Civil War, Michael Burlingame explores the experiences and qualities that made Abraham Lincoln one of America's most revered leaders. This volume provides an illuminating overview of the entirety of the Civil War and Lincoln's administration, focusing on the ways in which Lincoln's unique combination of psychological maturity, steely determination, and political wisdom made him the North's secret weapon that ultimately led to supremacy over the Confederacy.
Lincoln's speeches were being published and widely circulated, as he began to practice law again as a means of income. When John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry occurred, Democrats cited this as an example of slave-agitation caused by the Republicans. Lincoln also began to address the southern threat of succession, deeming it an 'act of treason'.
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