From the author of The Class of 1846: “A swift-paced narrative of Lincoln’s pre-presidential life.” —The Washington Post Book World
How did Abraham Lincoln, long held as a paragon of presidential bravery and principled politics, find his way to the White House? How did he become the one man great enough to risk the fate of the nation on the well-worn but cast-off notion that all men are created equal?
Here, award-winning historian John C. Waugh takes readers on Lincoln’s road to the Civil War. From his first public rejection of slavery to his secret arrival in the capital, from his stunning debates with Stephen Douglas to his contemplative moments considering the state of the country he loved, Waugh shows us America as Lincoln saw and described it. Much of this wonderful story is told by Lincoln himself, detailing through his own writing his emergence onto the political scene and the evolution of his beliefs about the Union, the Constitution, democracy, slavery, and civil war. Waugh sets Lincoln’s path in new relief by letting the great man tell his own story, at a depth that brings us ever closer to understanding this mysterious, complicated, and truly great man.
“Lively prose backed with solid research.” —Publishers Weekly
“[Waugh’s] judicious use of the historical record and his dramatic prose make for an enjoyable read.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A swift-paced narrative of Lincoln’s pre-presidential life.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Waugh is a smooth and gifted writer. . . . [His] description of life on the frontier and the prairies is fascinating.” —Newark Star-Ledger
John C. Waugh is the award-winning author of One Man Great Enough and four other books about the Civil War, two of which—Reelecting Lincoln and The Class of 1846—were Main Selections of the History Book Club. A former bureau chief of the Christian Science Monitor, his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Civil War Times Illustrated. He lives in Pantego, Texas.