Edited by Richard W. Etulain, Sara Vaughn Gabbard, and Sylvia Frank Rodrigue
Short, fresh, accessible books on the life, times, and legacy of Abraham Lincoln
This exciting series brings together expert scholars to elaborate on the life, times, and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Through short, focused books, each concentrating on a different area of Lincoln’s life and career, the Concise Lincoln Library brings fresh perspectives to well-known topics, investigates previously overlooked subjects, and explores in greater depth topics that have not yet received book-length treatment.
Each book gives readers the opportunity to quickly achieve basic knowledge of a Lincoln-related topic. The volumes are between 30,000 and 50,000 words in length and may include as many as ten illustrations. In an effort to make new scholarship accessible to the widest audience possible, the books carry minimal endnotes and historiography and are written in a style that is easy for anyone to understand. In-depth yet accessible, the Concise Lincoln Library appeals to both the novice and the Lincoln scholar.
"Knowing Abraham Lincoln is impossible and studying him is like trying to sip from the 'Fountain of Liberty' or make tea from the Constitution—he is not for the faint of heart. But reading SIU Press's Concise Lincoln Library offers something for every thirst. Deep drinkers and first-time students of the Civil War and Lincoln studies will come back for more, and this series will more than fill the glass."
—William Furry, executive director, Illinois State Historical Society
Richard W. Etulain, professor emeritus of history at the University of New Mexico, has written or edited more than forty-five books, most recently Lincoln Looks West: From the Mississippi to the Pacific and Beyond the Missouri: The Story of the American West. He is the editor of the Oklahoma Western Biographies Series and has edited five other book series since the 1980s.
Sara Vaughn Gabbard, executive director of Friends of the Lincoln Collection of Indiana, is the coeditor of Lincoln and Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation, and the Thirteenth Amendment (SIU Press, 2007) and Lincoln’s America: 1809-1865 (SIU Press, 2008). She is the editor of Lincoln Lore.
Sylvia Frank Rodrigue, editorial consultant, is the proprietor of Sylverlining, LLC. She also serves as executive editor for SIU Press. Previously she was editor-in-chief at LSU Press and managing editor at Stackpole Books. She is the coauthor of Historic Baton Rouge: An Illustrated History and Images of America: Baton Rouge.
The Concise Lincoln Library has been made possible in part through a generous donation by the Leland E. and LaRita R. Boren Trust
Abraham Lincoln and Horace Greeley by Gregory A. Borchard
This valuable dual biography profiles two notable Americans in a way no previous historian has. Lincoln and Greeley, the nineteenth century’s masters of politics and of the press, had similar origins and paths to prominence, and Borchard combines their backgrounds and their sometimes antagonistic, sometimes harmonious relationship into a single, accessible story, providing a fresh perspective on their professional relationship and their legacies.
Borchard, associate professor of mass communication and journalism at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, contributed to Words at War: The Civil War and American Journalism.
Lincoln and the Civil War by Michael Burlingame
This brief but probing study demonstrates that Lincoln's leadership was the North's secret weapon in the Civil War, the key variable that spelled the difference between victory and defeat. Burlingame clearly shows that Lincoln's eloquence, his political sagacity, his understanding of military strategy, and above all his psychological wholeness and balance enabled him to keep the North united so that it could prevail, thus saving the Union, abolishing slavery, and vindicating government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Burlingame, the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield, is author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life.
Lincoln and the Election of 1860 by Michael S. Green
How did an obscure Illinois politician beat the odds and prevail over more famous opponents to win the Republican presidential nomination in 1860? How did a new political party win the presidency so quickly? Green discerningly explains the key reason: Abraham Lincoln’s ability as a politician and manager of men. This book goes behind the scenes of Lincoln’s first presidential campaign to examine how he won and to bring to life the men and women who worked for and against him.
Green, professor of history at the College of Southern Nevada, is the author of Freedom, Union, and Power: Lincoln and His Party in the Civil War.
Abraham and Mary Lincoln by Kenneth Winkle
Their contemporaries disagreed bitterly about the marriage of Abraham and Mary Lincoln, and historians have argued just as fiercely about the relationship of this apparently incompatible couple. Now, Winkle provides a sweeping and provocative portrait of their courtship and marriage, showing the Lincolns amid all the social, cultural, political, and military currents that swirled around them during the most challenging presidency in American history.
Winkle, Sorensen Professor of American History at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, is the author of The Young Eagle: The Rise of Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln and the Constitution by Brian Dirck
Before the Civil War, Lincoln articulated a sophisticated antislavery reading of the Constitution, based upon his understanding of its relationship to the Declaration of Independence. As president, he advanced the causes of Union and emancipation with a robust, innovative interpretation of the Constitution’s presidential war powers. Dirck’s comprehensive examination shows Lincoln’s interpretation of and lifelong engagement with the nation’s founding document.
Dirck, professor of history at Anderson University, is the author of Lincoln the Lawyer. He blogs at www.alincolnblog.blogspot.com.
Lincoln and Medicine by Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein
The first synthesis of Lincoln and medicine since 1933, this volume examines the personal medical issues of Abraham Lincoln and his wife and sons. In addition, Schroeder-Lein studies Lincoln’s relationship to Civil War medicine. She organizes, analyzes, and synthesizes both discoveries and speculations about Lincoln and medical topics, including the alleged diseases Lincoln suffered, and concludes with a medical examination of his assassination.
Schroeder-Lein, manuscript librarian at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, is the author of The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine.
Lincoln and Race by Richard Striner
In this exciting new study, Striner examines one of the most fascinating controversies surrounding the leadership of Abraham Lincoln. It is a controversy in some respects as old as the Civil War itself: the enduring question of whether Mr. Lincoln, notwithstanding his famous antislavery words and deeds, was to some extent a denier of full equality for black Americans. Striner’s penetrating analysis of the debate is sure to become essential reading.
Striner, professor of history at Washington College, is the author of Father Abraham: Lincoln’s Relentless Struggle to End Slavery.
Lincoln as Hero by Frank Williams
Abraham Lincoln’s long-term dedication and determination make him a genuine hero for America and the world. In this appealing introduction to the topic, Williams shows how Lincoln grew into the role of hero through his vision, strategic command, political management, and skill as a communicator, and he explains how our image of Lincoln today fits both the mythic and classical concept of a true hero.
Williams, former Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, is the author of Judging Lincoln.
Lincoln and Reconstruction by John C. Rodrigue
“Wartime” Reconstruction is often examined as prelude to postwar developments or to speculate on what Lincoln might have done had he lived, but in this insightful analysis, Rodrigue clearly shows how Lincoln’s Reconstruction initiatives were inseparable from the war itself. The war, in essence, was about Reconstruction. Yet, just as the meaning of the war changed for Lincoln, so his approach to Reconstruction likewise evolved until it eventually came to include a broader, racially integrated vision of American citizenship.
Rodrigue, Lawrence and Theresa Salameno Professor of History at Stonehill College, is the author of Reconstruction in the Cane Fields: From Slavery to Free Labor in Louisiana's Sugar Parishes, 1862–1880.
Lincoln and the U.S. Colored Troops by John David Smith
Abraham Lincoln evolved from opposing to embracing African Americans in the U.S. Army during the Civil War, and in this rewarding study, Smith clearly demonstrates Lincoln's deep understanding of white racism in the North and his concern about alienating Unionists in the border slave states by freeing their slaves and bringing them into the Union army. By war’s end, the valiant service of almost 180,000 black troops in Union blue validated Lincoln’s confidence in them as men and soldiers.
Smith, Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History at University of North Carolina—Charlotte, is the author of Black Judas: William Hannibal Thomas and “The American Negro.”
Lincoln and Religion by Ferenc Morton Szasz
Newcomers to the life of Abraham Lincoln are often surprised at the controversy over the exact nature of his religious views. Was he a Christian? Did he believe in God? Szasz’s insightful examination, the first book-length study in a generation to treat this theme, places Lincoln’s evolving position squarely within the context of the religious world of his day. It also revealingly analyzes Lincoln's role as the center of America's civil religion.
Szasz, Regents’ Professor of History at the University of New Mexico, is the author of Abraham Lincoln and Robert Burns: Connected Lives and Legends.
Lincoln’s Statesmanship by Joseph R. Fornieri
What qualities distinguish a statesman from a mere politician or even a tyrant, for that matter? This valuable work explores Lincoln's statesmanship and those qualities of character and intellect that made him a brilliant leader. Fornieri astutely views Lincoln's statesmanship in terms of five elements that contributed to his greatness: principle, prudence, patriotism, personality, and power.
Fornieri, associate professor of political science at Rochester Institute of Technology, is the author of Abraham Lincoln’s Political Faith.
Lincoln’s Greatest Mistakes by Harold Holzer
Lincoln is celebrated for a string of exemplary accomplishments: saving the Union, ending slavery, and enshrining the principles of freedom and democracy in unforgettable rhetoric, to name a few. But in honoring Lincoln, readers and historians alike tend to ignore his occasional, but noteworthy, errors. Here Holzer lifts the veil on several of Lincoln’s missteps, large and small, personal and professional, private and public, and assesses their impact on Lincoln, his family, his country, and history.
Holzer, senior vice president of external affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is the author of Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860–1861.
Lincoln’s Campaign Biographies by Thomas A. Horrocks
This is the first study to address the role campaign biographies played in making Lincoln president of the United States. By examining the Lincoln biographies published for the 1860 campaign, Horrocks highlights the important relationship between print and politics in nineteenth-century America and skillfully explains how candidates were presented to the American voter in the days before radio, television, and the internet.
Horrocks, associate librarian of Houghton Library for Collections at Harvard University, is the author of Popular Print and Popular Medicine: Almanacs and Health Advice in Early America.
Lincoln and the Military by John F. Marszalek
The military history of the Civil War has long been a topic of major interest for historians and enthusiasts. Marszalek analyzes the mass of publications the war has inspired and presents a concise insight, through the eyes of the commander-in-chief, into how this conflict was fought. Lincoln’s increasingly effective military leadership provided the inspiration and opportunity for talented Federal generals like Grant and Sherman to undertake and win the military campaigns necessary for victory in a difficult war.
Marszalek, Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Mississippi State University, serves as the executive director and managing editor of the Ulysses S. Grant Association. He is the author of Sherman, A Soldier's Passion for Order.
Lincoln and Emancipation by Edna Greene Medford
At the beginning of the Civil War few Americans expressed interest in altering the legal status and political condition of people of color. Medford insightfully examines the evolution of Lincoln’s own thinking regarding black freedom and considers the challenges he faced—both personal and political—as he moved toward abolishing slavery. She discusses the legal, political, and military considerations of emancipation and expertly investigates the responses Lincoln’s decisions elicited from those people—enslaved and free—most affected by them.
Medford, associate professor of history at Howard University, is the coauthor of The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views.
Lincoln’s Sense of Humor by Richard Carwardine
Abraham Lincoln called laughter “the joyous, beautiful, universal evergreen of life.” A staple of his diet, it was a feature universally noted by his contemporaries, friend and foe alike. But what did it signify? This book looks seriously at what made Lincoln laugh, exploring what it reveals about his temperament, personality, and moral values; it shows how Lincoln the lawyer, politician, and president made mirth and story-telling key weapons in his relations with others.
Carwardine, President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford University, is the author of Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power.
Lincoln’s Assassination by Edward Steers, Jr.
For nearly one hundred years writers have treated the assassination of Abraham Lincoln as an event that should be described rather than explained. Contrary to popular belief, John Wilkes Booth’s plot to remove Lincoln began a full year before the actual killing and involved a web of conspiracy that reached deep into the Confederate Secret Service. While it was Booth’s hand that held the small derringer that fired the fatal shot, many fingers were on the trigger.
Steers, the leading authority on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, is the author of seven books on Lincoln’s death, including Blood on the Moon and The Lincoln Assassination Encyclopedia.
Lincoln and the War’s End by John C. Waugh
The last five months of the war, covered in this book, are among the most dramatic in Lincoln’s life. Reelected, he pushes through the 13th amendment freeing all the slaves North and South, delivers his second inaugural—one of the most powerful and eloquent speeches in the English Language—watches with Grant’s army as the Confederacy falls, walks the streets of a surrendered and burning Richmond, and sees his four long years of toil for Union end in victory.
Waugh, a former journalist reporting the 20th century, but now reporting the 19th, is the author of three other Lincoln books: Reelecting Lincoln, One Man Great Enough, and Lincoln and McClellan.
Lincoln and the Union Governors by William C. Harris
This insightful study shows the importance of the Union governors in rallying their states during the Civil War. The governors, especially the Republicans, were often ahead of President Lincoln in the war's early years in recruitment, organization, and material support of the troops, and even on emancipation. Lincoln understood the need to respect the authority and concerns of the governors, but they sometimes found him slow and irresolute. Harris provides fresh information on the important relationships between Lincoln and the governors and the problems they faced.
Harris, professor emeritus of history at North Carolina State University, is the author of Lincoln and the Border States: Preserving the Union.
Lincoln and the Immigrant by Jason H. Silverman
Silverman explores Abraham Lincoln’s complex, contradictory thoughts on immigration and Americans’ response to it, focusing on Lincoln’s seeming disdain for some of the newcomers and his presidential drive to encourage immigration. Lincoln saw immigration as a potential source of prosperity for the nation, and indeed a significant influx of immigrants helped drive the nineteenth-century economic, political, and cultural development of the United States.
Silverman, Ellison Capers Palmer Jr. Professor of History at Winthrop University, is the coauthor of Shanks: The Life and Wars of General Nathan G. Evans, C.S.A.