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The Real Lincoln

A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War
Narrated by: Charles Constant
Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (162 ratings)
Regular price: $26.59
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Publisher's Summary

Most Americans consider Abraham Lincoln to be the greatest president in history. His legend as the Great Emancipator has grown to mythic proportions as hundreds of books, a national holiday, and a monument in Washington, D.C., extol his heroism and martyrdom.

But what if most everything you knew about Lincoln were false? What if, instead of an American hero who sought to free the slaves, Lincoln were in fact a calculating politician who waged the bloodiest war in American history in order to build an empire that rivaled Great Britain's? In The Real Lincoln, author Thomas J. DiLorenzo uncovers a side of Lincoln not told in many history books and overshadowed by the immense Lincoln legend.

Through extensive research and meticulous documentation, DiLorenzo portrays the 16th president as a man who devoted his political career to revolutionizing the American form of government from one that was very limited in scope and highly decentralized - as the Founding Fathers intended - to a highly centralized, activist state. Standing in his way, however, was the South, with its independent states, its resistance to the national government, and its reliance on unfettered free trade.

©2003 Thomas J. DiLorenzo (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A devastating critique of America's most famous president." (Joseph Sobran, commentator and nationally syndicated columnist)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Truth about Abraham Lincoln

This book was recommended to me by a friend of mine who challenged my views on Abraham Lincoln as Americans best president. He told me a bit about why he thought ‘honest Abe’ was the worst president we have ever had.

Now that I have heard the things Mr Abraham Lincoln did, I really am kind of depressed. And at the same time I think that I’m glad I now know the truth.

This is a true, well written, excellently narrated, and an interesting discussion on what Abraham Lincoln did to America.

I would recommend this to anyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Thought provoking and repetitious

I like books that challenge my view of the world. DiLorenzo's book does exactly that and that is why it gets four stars.
The narrator is another big plus because the book becomes quite repetitious after about two hours. The next 6.5 hours are a varied reiteration of the same basic ideas.

Unfortunately, the author chose to add an entirely pointless section at the end where he defends himself against his critics. A decision that in my view rather backfires as it comes over a bit whiny and emphasizes the weaknesses of the book. Despite its shortcomings, it's a worthwhile and thoughprovoking read.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A Libertarian View?

I found this writing to be a different perspective than I had read before. Full of references that seem to support this as one perspective to be aware of in understanding all viewpoints regarding the Lincoln legacy.

11 of 18 people found this review helpful

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History is written by the Winner

History is written by the Winner. The real Lincoln was evil. Our school history books left out a lot and twisted the rest. I'm so glad I listened to the book.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Dan Greene
  • CHATTANOOGA, TN, United States
  • 02-09-19

Lincoln was a monster.

May make some people's head explode. This isn't the standard 8th grade crapola they fed you in 9th grade.

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Mind reset!

Not fun to be so quickly turned upside down, even when the result finds me finally right side up! Strong and reasonable discussion of truth helps me understand other things in today's world. Very glad I stuck with it to the end. Now let's move ahead with truth and wisdom and learn again from history.

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Not the Lincoln that I know from school!!!

Everyone should listen to this book. It answers questions of why Lincoln undertook the Civil War. I am appalled that we have lost the original meaning of the Constitution--the right to secede from the Union. What an amazing revelation to feel the great sorrow I had for the South. I had never suspected that I could have those feelings.

I also had sorrow for the North and the resulting loss Lincoln created by the brutality of the War.

This is an amazing book!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An Antidote to Mythology

The American Civil War was such a traumatic and polarizing event for the United States it is difficult even now to look back on what happened with clear eyes. We also are prone to trying to make the complex simple and to think well of people we are told were heroes and who appear to have accomplished worthwhile things. This is how historical mythology gets created, and it is this mythology about Lincoln that this book aims to disabuse people of. As such, it is a perfectly imbalanced book. It is all about the bad parts of Lincoln that have been hidden behind the myth.

And it is pretty bad. The author successfully makes his case that among all the good things one can say about Lincoln, there are some bad things that are true and need to be mentioned. Lincoln was a white supremacist who cynically allied with abolitionists to further a crony capitalist agenda. He intentionally started a needless war for the economic enrichment of his allies and pursued that war using tyrannical methods in the North and war crimes in the South. That the result of all of this was that the slaves got freed was an unintended consequence.

Maybe you won't agree with the author's conclusions. That's fine. But if you are at all interested in Lincoln and the Civil War, you should read this antidote to the Lincoln mythology to help clear your eyes.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Thought Provoking!

I enjoyed the different perspective from what I was taught in school about the question, who was Lincoln?

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Deconstruction of the myth

This book is worth your time. I will listen to it again. "Wars are complex" but people need simple myths. Lincoln did not suddenly arise. He emerged from the political context of the Whig party between 1820-1850. The author makes an error laying the policies of reconstruction at Lincoln's feet. A book for every shelf!