Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press, USA
Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution / Edition 1

Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution / Edition 1

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James McPherson has emerged as one of America's finest historians. Battle Cry of Freedom, his Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the Civil War, was a national bestseller that Hugh Brogan, in The New York Times Book Review, called "history writing of the highest order." In that volume, McPherson gathered in the broad sweep of events, the political, social, and cultural forces at work during the Civil War era. Now, in Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution, he offers a series of thoughtful and engaging essays on aspects of Lincoln and the war that have rarely been discussed in depth.

McPherson again displays his keen insight and sterling prose as he examines several critical themes in American history. He looks closely at the President's role as Commander-in-Chief of the Union forces, showing how Lincoln forged a national military strategy for victory. He explores the importance of Lincoln's great rhetorical skills, uncovering how—through parables and figurative language—he was uniquely able to communicate both the purpose of the war and a new meaning of liberty to the people of the North. In another section, McPherson examines the Civil War as a Second American Revolution, describing how the Republican Congress elected in 1860 passed an astonishing blitz of new laws (rivaling the first hundred days of the New Deal), and how the war not only destroyed the social structure of the old South, but radically altered the balance of power in America, ending 70 years of Southern power in the national government.

The Civil War was the single most transforming and defining experience in American history, and Abraham Lincoln remains the most important figure in the pantheon of our mythology. These graceful essays, written by one of America's leading historians, offer fresh and unusual perspectives on both.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195076066
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 06/28/1992
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 522,720
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 5.38(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

James M. McPherson is George Henry Davis Professor of American History at Princeton University. His books include Battle Cry of Freedom, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History, and Ordeal by Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction.


Princeton, New Jersey

Date of Birth:

October 11, 1936

Place of Birth:

Valley City, North Dakota


B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN) 1958; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1963

Table of Contents

The Second American Revolution
Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution
Lincoln and Liberty
Lincoln and the Strategy of Unconditional Surrender
How Lincoln Won the War with Metaphors
The Hedgehog and the Foxes
Liberty and Power in the Second American Revolution
Notes 153(16)
Index 169

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Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a book I was required to read for an American History college course, but I'm glad it was mandatory, as I really enjoyed reading it, and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in American history. McPherson is an accessible writer, very clear and succinct, whose style is anything but dry and "textbook-like." For the definitive overview of the Civil War one might read his "Battle Cry of Freedom," but this small volume is worthy reading, presenting the intriguing idea that the Civil War was really "the second American revolution." It was enlightening and absorbing, and as a small aside, it actually brought me together with my new beau, because when he discovered I was reading a book by his favorite author, we compared notes, and the rest was. . .see what reading can lead to? ! Thanks, Mr. McPherson.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's an awesome book that explains the life of Abraham Lincoln in a very interesting way. It's definely a good book for anyone interested in this amazing president.
CaptainSH More than 1 year ago
This book takes a different look at Abraham Lincoln. It shows how the Civil War completely changed American society; not just by ending slavery, but by ending a balance of power that had existed between the North and South, agriculture & industry. The South did not fully participate in running the country for years after the war, and the North enacted laws that were favorable to industry. This country would be totally different if the Civil War had not happened. I wish I had read this book years ago.