Exploring Lincoln: Great Historians Reappraise Our Greatest President

Oxford Univ. Mar. 2015. 240p. ed. by & others . notes. ISBN 9780823265633. $24.95. HIST
Lincoln historian Holzer (Lincoln and the Power of the Press; Lincoln President-Elect; Why Lincoln Matters) has brought together 16 recent papers originally presented at the prestigious Lincoln Forum. In Holzer's scope of interest, these papers represent the ever-widening range of questions about Lincoln: the man, the lawyer, the politician, the commander in chief, the emancipator, and more. Papers focus on a variety of subjects, such as American diplomacy, West Pointers in the U.S. Army, Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee, the Battle Hymn of the Republic, the mental illness of Mary Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln, and the aftermath of the Civil War. Most essays are drawn from larger works published or in progress so that readers get a good sense of the latest scholarship in a very digestible form, making the book an excellent "survey" of Lincoln-era scholarship, instructive for classroom use and general reading.
VERDICT Although Lincoln scholars will find no surprises in these essays, they will appreciate their confidence and clarity in argument. All readers will appreciate anew why Lincoln is the inexhaustible subject, for in many ways his story is America's story.
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