Antoineonline.com : Amer pres: abraham lincoln (9780805083453) : George S. McGovern : Books
  Login | Register En  |  Fr
Antoine Online

Amer Pres: Abraham Lincoln

by George S. McGovern
Our price: LBP 49,500Unavailable
*Contact us to request a special order. Price may vary.
I Add to my wishlist
|

Product Details

  • Publisher: Times Books
  • Publishing date: 23/12/2008
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780805083453
  • ISBN: 0805083456

Synopsis

America’s greatest president, who rose to power in the country’s greatest hour of need and whose vision saw the United States through the Civil War

Abraham Lincoln towers above the others who have held the office of president—the icon of greatness, the pillar of strength whose words bound up the nation’s wounds. His presidency is the hinge on which American history pivots, the time when the young republic collapsed of its own contradictions and a new birth of freedom, sanctified by blood, created the United States we know today. His story has been told many times, but never by a man who himself sought the office of president and contemplated the awesome responsibilities that come with it.

George S. McGovern—a Midwesterner, former U.S. senator, presidential candidate, veteran, and historian by training—offers his unique insight into our sixteenth president. He shows how Lincoln sometimes went astray, particularly in his restrictions on civil liberties, but also how he adjusted his sights and transformed the Civil War from a political dispute to a moral crusade. McGovern’s account reminds us why we hold Lincoln in such esteem and why he remains the standard by which all of his successors are measured.

George S. McGovern represented South Dakota in the United States Senate from 1963 to 1981 and was the Democratic nominee for president in 1972. He was a decorated bomber pilot in World War II, after which he earned his Ph.D. in American history and government at Northwestern University. A recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he lives in Mitchell, South Dakota.

Abraham Lincoln, who came into the presidency in the country’s greatest hour of need, towers above the others who have held the office of president—the icon of greatness, the pillar of strength whose words bound up the nation’s wounds. His vision saw the United States through the Civil War. His presidency is the hinge on which American history pivots, the time when the young republic collapsed of its own contradictions and a new birth of freedom, sanctified by blood, created the United States we know today. His story has been told many times, but never by a man who himself sought the office of president and contemplated the awesome responsibilities that come with it.

George S. McGovern—a Midwesterner, former U.S. senator, presidential candidate, veteran, and historian by training—offers his unique insight into our sixteenth president. He shows how Lincoln sometimes went astray, particularly in his restrictions on civil liberties, but also how he adjusted his sights and transformed the Civil War from a political dispute to a moral crusade. McGovern’s account reminds us why we hold Lincoln in such esteem and why he remains the standard by which all of his successors are measured.

"The greatness and imperfections of America's 16th president, captured by a former Democratic nominee for the White House. With considerable skill and insight, McGovern crafts a biography snappy, clear and comprehensive enough to please general readers, students and scholars alike. In eight short chapters, six of which deal with Lincoln's presidency, he nails the essential strengths, flaws, failures and achievements of America's most revered leader."—Kirkus Reviews

"McGovern’s Lincoln is a finely wrought gem. In this small volume McGovern captures Lincoln’s character and leadership strengths better than many weighty tomes. It is a worthy addition to the brilliant American Presidents Series."—Doris Kearns Goodwin

"If you like your biographies very short and sweet with a dash of corrective moralism, you might try George McGovern's Abraham Lincoln, a well-timed entry in Times Books' presidents series, written by the former White House candidate."—David Waldstreicher, The Boston Globe

"Lincoln is one of the few presidents to be claimed by both liberals and conservatives. This volume by the former Democratic presidential candidate (in the American President Series from Times Books, edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. and Sean Willentz) examines Lincoln's record from a liberal point of view, particularly his early and apparent contradictory views on slavery—his platform made clear that his purpose was to contain slavery in the Southern states, not to abolish it. An example: In our 16th president, writes McGovern, 'We see the decency of popular government. Its role, then as now, was, as Lincoln wrote "to elevate the condition of men . . . to afford all an unfettered start in the race of life" . . . To him, democracy was an experiment that the world had not seen before.' Simply put, McGovern makes a convincing case that America's first Republican president was really our first democratic president."—Allen Barra, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

"The greatness and imperfections of America's 16th president, captured by a former Democratic nominee for the White House. With considerable skill and insight, McGovern crafts a biography snappy, clear and comprehensive enough to please general readers, students and scholars alike. In eight short chapters, six of which deal with Lincoln's presidency, he nails the essential strengths, flaws, failures and achievements of America's most revered leader. Born in a Kentucky log cabin, Lincoln was a melancholic who suffered more than his fair share of misfortune. According to McGovern, he nevertheless earned success through his ceaseless hard work, powerful intellect and incomparable abilities as a speechwriter. Lincoln began his political career as a member of the Whig Party. After serving in the Illinois state legislature, he won election to the U.S. Congress in 1846, but lost support by challenging President James Polk on the origins of the Mexican War and lasted only one term. The 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, sponsored by Democratic Senator Stephen Douglas, reinvigorated Lincoln's political ambitions. While he believed the Constitution did not allow for abolition in the South, he staunchly opposed the westward expansion of slavery. With the Whig Party split, he joined the new Republican Party in 1856 and ran against Douglas for a Senate seat in 1858. Although he lost this race, Lincoln gained national prominence as a result of his famous debates with Douglas. Two years later, he won the 1860 presidential election, a victory that angered the South and brought about secession and war. What was he like as a wartime president? In three core chapters, McGovern astutely assesses Lincoln's emergence as a commander in chief committed to 'total war.' The author does not shy away from criticizing his subject, particularly for suspending habeas corpus and censoring the press. Still McGovern's overall depiction is one of a complex, tolerant and extraordinary man who simultaneously preserved the Union and transformed the nation. Compact and commanding."—Kirkus Reviews

"Former U.S. senator McGovern—who is also a Ph.D. historian—knows something about presidential leadership and the potential and actual abuses of power that come especially during wartime. In this compact but convincing portrait, he assesses Lincoln's greatness in terms of his ability to use his humble origins, empathy, keen sense of justice, uncommon skill in seeing the essence of an issue, faith in American democracy, gifts of language, and personal self-confidence—all to become a masterly lawyer, a party leader, commander in chief, and a heroic figure with both the vision and the practicality to realize his purposes . . . Given his own politics, McGovern not surprisingly examines Lincoln's use of war powers in suspending habeas corpus, suppressing dissent, and freeing the slaves, finally conceding that the great crisis of secession and the prospect of ending slavery justified Lincoln's overstepping constitutional bounds-for the moment. This biography warrants reading to catch the sense of Lincoln's greatness, both for his own day and ours."—Randall M. Miller, Library Journal

"In this modest, fluent bio, part of the American Presidents Series, former Democratic senator and presidential nominee McGovern finds an inspiring lesson in what a man can do with his life. McGovern's Lincoln is a smart, ambitious striver who overcame humble origins, repeated setbacks and spells of depression. He is an idealist who, though burdened with the racial prejudices of his day, embraced the principle of equal opportunity. Most resonantly for the author, he is a brilliant politician who, combining pragmatism with high purpose, steered a crooked course through ugly political realities to end the intractable curse of slavery."—Publishers Weekly


In just a few easy steps below, you can become an online reviewer.
You'll be able to make changes before you submit your review.

  • A Politician's Politician
    From Amazon

    This study is a nice biography of Abraham Lincoln designed for the general public. The author, George McGovern, bring some interesting credentials to this effort. A combat veteran of World War II, he earned a Ph.D. in history, but is better known for his political career. He served in the U.S. Senate for three terms and was the presidential nominee of the Democrats in 1972. It is no surprise then that this book emphasizes things political. There are a couple of chuckle producing passages when it seems like McGovern is discussing the 1960s rather the 1860s. McGovern, though, is a professional historian and gives a good account of himself with this work. The study is more than acceptable. McGovern is familiar with all the new research and findings on Lincoln. Experts on the sixteenth president will find nothing new in this biography, but it is a good place for most people to start.

  • No New Insights
    From Amazon

    This work is pedestrian at best. As a weak scholar of the Civil War, I had hoped to learn new nuggets of information to augment my basic American knowledge of Lincoln's actions (particularly in regards to the conduct of the War). They were not here. The length of the volume encouraged me to think it would be more philosophical,analitical, or political in nature but it was a quick study of all you learn in high school. D.K. Goodwin is safe in Fenway!

  • Our Greatest President
    From Amazon

    George McGovern is a decorated B-24 bomber pilot in WW II, received a Ph.D. in American history, was elected Senator from South Dakota (1962-1980), and ran for President in 1972. [As a history professor in the 1950s he organized the Democratic Party in South Dakota.] The `Prologue' gives a short history of Lincoln's life. Lincoln was a "self-made man" (p.2) with one year of formal education. He suffered from melancholy all his life, which may have resulted from heredity, deaths in the family, election defeats, or perhaps disease (p.4). His opposition to the extension of slavery brought him national attention (p.5), a split among the majority Democratic party allowed his election to preserve the Union. [McGovern criticizes Lincoln for suspending `habeas corpus' (p.8) but Article I Section 9 allows it in case of Rebellion or Invasion.] Chapter 1 tells of Lincoln's early life. He learned to work hard, but never learned to love it (p.17). He never joined any religion and did not fight, gamble, swear, or use tobacco, hunt or fish. Young Lincoln worked at many jobs (p.18). He was popular with the people (p.19) in part due to his honesty. He was elected Captain of the militia in the Black Hawk war (p.21). After being elected to the Illinois legislature he studied to become a lawyer (p.24). Then he moved to Springfield and practiced law (p.75) with a reputation for honesty (p.26). [Was there some hidden problem in their marriage (p.29)?] Lincoln organized the Whig party and established a state convention system (Chapter 2). He served one term as Congressman, then became a respected attorney in Illinois (p.35). Would slavery expand to the free states (p.36)? Lincoln became the leader of the anti-slavery faction (p.37). The emerging Republican Party was against the extension of slavery, a coalition of former Whiges, Free-Soilers, abolitionists, and anti-slavery Democrats (p.39). The `Dred Scott' decision allowed slavery in the territories. Slavery was wrong because it exploited the labor of others (p.43). Lincoln was against secession (p.44) or the extension of slavery (p.45). Newcomer Lincoln had few political enemies, his friends made deals to win the nomination. Southern states threatened secession since the 1820s (Chapter 3). [The South earned income from foreign trade in cotton and tobacco to Europe, their imports paid the tariffs that supported the Federal governments. Their business allies were the Bankers, Shippers, and Insurance companies. Many Presidents were from the South.] Lincoln would not allow slavery to be extended or states to secede (p.54). Lincoln ordered a blockade of Southern ports, ordered the purchase and production of weapons, and controlled and censored newspapers (p.61). Lincoln was not an abolitionist until war-time conditions required it (Chapter 4). The Emancipation Proclamation applied to the states in rebellion (p.70). The Union had an advantage in population and production (Chapter 5). Lincoln became more involved in managing the war (p.83). U.S. Grant's victories ensured his promotion (p.87). Lincoln was the best speech-writer of the Presidents (p.91). Lincoln was the first President to win a second term since Andrew Jackson. Chapter 6 explains the `Politics in Wartime'. Chapter 7 describes the changes in Lincoln's second term. Many new laws had long-lasting consequences (pp.119-121). The XIII Amendment passed (p.128). Chapter 8 tells of Lincoln's last year. He saw the end of the war on April 9. The `Epilogue' describes the mourning, and has the author's comments. Liberty was no longer the absence of government restraint but something government provided (p.152). New Constitutional amendments expanded the powers of the national government (p.153).

  • Lincoln would have bought this book & voted for McGovern
    From Amazon

    My family and I met Senator McGovern at Mt. Rushmore earlier this month (8/09). He was more interested in us and our travels (we were on vacation from WI to CA via SD) than he was in his past accomplishments or current ambitions. I read this book after reading more about him - subsequent to meeting him. I unconditionally, categorically, and unequivocally recommend this book, not simply because he was genuinely interested in our family (although that demonstrates character beyond that which occasionally makes it to the White House - a subtle knock to Nixon, but he had it coming), but because it is truly a reflection of a great man by a great man. Senator McGovern mentioned that perhaps, someday President Obama would share a place at Mt. Rushmore - I share that desire with my friend (I could be stretching with "friend" but he made my family feel like friends so friend it is) to see Barack Obama as worthy of that distinction. Thank you, Senator, for the book - for talking with my family and for making our country great. Our world is much better off because of you George McGovern - If that sounds like "George Bailey" it should - Thanks Senator.

  • A great book about Lincoln.
    From Amazon

    So much has been written about Abe Lincoln. Another book might have been wasted effort. However George McGovern does a superb job of detailing the strengths and weaknesses of our 16th President. I do not support McGovern's politics but I think he did a great job of detailing his respect of Lincoln the politician. Lincoln made a few mistakes in his governing (habeus corpus) but overwhelmlingly his judgement on governmental/military matters were sound. McGovern does a great job of summarizing the greatness of our 16th President. I think this is by far the best of the American Presidents series. I have read most of them, but McGovern has done the best job so far of any one President. A great read.

Close
Working on your request