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 (248 ratings)

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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)

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The start of the deep state

Was Lincoln the start of the deep state? Have we all been lied to about our own history?

2 people found this helpful

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a welcome change

Thete are countless Lincoln biographies available on audible, and virtually all lionize the man, from Carl Sandburg on. Listen to a different take. Delorenzo documents that Lincoln alwayd admitted to be a proponent of Henry Clay's American System. He then makes a cogent argument that Lincoln was primarily motivated to go to war to promote this policy, characterized by the author as a spoils system. He concludes that none of the other myriad countries with slaves had to go to war to abolish slavery. So why did the US?

4 people found this helpful

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Lots of new info to think about

The Author does a great job of exposing how Lincoln expanded the federal government and many popular misconceptions about the civil war and slavery's abolition.

1 person found this helpful

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Made me think! Thanks!

The antagonist bend helped rile me enough to actually listen closer. Some is positioning. Much speaks facts. I walk away with more questions. Sort of the point, huh?

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A Treasure of Information Alien to U.S. Classrooms

Unfortunately I, it seems that most Americans are content to ingest whatever is handed to them by the powers that be without a second thought as to whether it is true or complete. In "The Real Lincoln", Thomas DiLorenzo draws a clear portrait of the real man, politician, lawyer and, ultimately, dictator who forever changed the course of US government and the concept of liberty in this land.
The narration was perfect.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this 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.

3 people found this helpful

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OpEd Disguised as History

The author’s extensive use of opinion and repetition with little regard to facts make this book utterly useless as a tool for rendering an accurate historical account. He spends much of the book defending his own interpretations using modern references meant to elicit emotion rather than thought.

One glaring incorrect statement was when he said the nation mourned the “last” founding father when Hamilton was shot. He did not say latest, he used the term “last”. When burr shot hamilton there were many founding fathers still alive, including the president at the time (Jefferson).

He takes an exceptionally simplistic view of the events and omits key realities in an effort to justify his position. This tact would be appropriate if he were writing this book for the Historical Fiction section.

Sadly this is touted as a History review and is being referenced time and again. With references to those reference having abstracted the source, this book will be responsible for mis-educating many people.

Was the civil war an artifact of the loose ends in the continental congress? Yes. Was it born from the deeply held differences between those who followed Hamilton vs Jefferson viewpoints, yes.

Was our country so poorly founded and maintained that Lincoln could be the ruthless dictator portrayed here? No. The author has exceptionally little regard for the country or its framework that existed at the time. If he were writing about an ancient mongrel leader, perhaps the descriptions would fit. The colonial states had tremendous power and the war was building up long before Lincoln took the chair.

All that said, the audio reader did a fantastic job.

6 people found this 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.

13 people found this 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.

5 people found this helpful