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Publisher's Summary

This unique intellectual portrait explores the role of ideas in Lincoln’s life. Guelzo presents Lincoln as a serious thinker deeply involved in the problems of 19th-century thought, including those of classical liberalism, the Lockean Enlightenment, Victorian unbelief, and Calvinist spirituality. Lincoln emerges as a philosophical man who appropriates certain religious values without adhering to any religion, who insists on the pre-eminence of self-interest in spite of becoming the Great Emancipator, and who appeals to natural law and natural theology in politics while remaining a classical 19th-century liberal in principle. Based on primary materials from a wide variety of archives, this insightful work sheds light on the intellectual conflicts that led to civil war and that still influence today’s “culture wars.”

©1999 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Out of the countless volumes written about our 16th president, [this] ranks quite simply among the best.” (Wall Street Journal)

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A Full and Beautiful Picture

Never have I learned so much about a person I thought I already knew. This is a great book on Audible as it makes all the details flow into a story without the common monotony sometimes accompanying long biographies. Made me love Lincoln even more.

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Allen Guelzo is always superb

Anything written by Allen Guelzo is always superb and to be trusted. Not only does his writing flow, but his analysis is sensitive, discerning and penetrating. It is always a joy for me to read anything written by Dr. Guelzo.

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  • Alan Michael Forrester
  • 07-08-13

A great account of Abraham Lincoln's ideas

"Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President" by Allen C. Guelzo is a book about Abraham Lincoln's ideas. Guelzo explains that lincoln's opposition to slavery started from his opposition to being pigeonholed into the same subsistence farming lifestyle as his father. This helps explain many otherwise puzzling features of Lincoln's career, like the fact that he acted a lawyer for a slaveowner who wanted to reclaim a runaway slave before he became President. The book also explains his evolving attitude to belief in God.

Edward Lewis reads the book clearly.