The Last Best Hope of Earth : Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America
In this book, Mark Neely Jr provides for the general reader a compact biography of Abraham Lincoln based on new scholarship. Neely, a Pulitzer prize-winning historian, aims to recapture the central place of politics in Lincoln's life. Although he ultimately married and became a successful and prosperous lawyer, Lincoln chose a political career, and throughout his life, politics remained his first love. Yet in Neely's depiction of Lincoln, power was never sought for its own sake. Having triumphed over the hardscrabble circumstances of his youth in Kentucky and Indiana, Lincoln, early in his political career, tied his ambition to the search for solutions to the economic underdevelopment of the American West. And in the last 11 years of his life, Lincoln's political ambitions became yoked to a fierce nationalism and a keen moral purpose - the preservation of the Union and the demise of slavery. Lincoln could not remember a time when he did not hate slavery, or revere the federal system. He made his position clear in the decade leading up to his presidential election campaign, and a civil war erupted.
Through Neely's eyes the reader sees the growth of this president's advanced ideas about military strategy, despite their price in blood; his husbanding of the resources of the home front, regardless of its cost in national treasure; and his complex defense of the Constitution, notwithstanding a momentary loss of civil liberties. The reader also sees Lincoln's dedication to the Emancipation Proclamation, while the fate of the republic and the future of four million black Americans hung in the balance.
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- Mark E. Neely
- Hardback | 224 pages
- 167.64 x 246.38 x 27.94mm | 657.71g
- Publication date
- 01 Dec 1993
- HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Publication City/Country
- Cambridge, Mass, United States