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Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas

Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas

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Allen C. Guelzo, with a Foreword by Michael Lind


Paperback (Other formats: Hardcover)
230 pages, 6 x 9, 1 illustrations


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About the Book

Despite the most meager of formal educations, Lincoln had a tremendous intellectual curiosity that drove him into the circle of Enlightenment philosophy and democratic political ideology. And from these, Lincoln developed a set of political convictions that guided him throughout his life and his presidency. This compilation of ten essays from Lincoln scholar Allen C. Guelzo uncovers the hidden sources of Lincoln’s ideas and examines the beliefs that directed his career and brought an end to slavery and the Civil War.


Allen C. Guelzo, the author of Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates That Defined America, is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College. He is a three-time winner of the Lincoln Prize, for Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (2000), Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (2005), and Gettysburg: The Last Invasion (2013), the last of which was a New York Times best seller.


“Allen Guelzo is one of the finest Lincoln scholars of our generation, and this book of essays reveals once again a unique combination of impeccable scholarship with a wonderfully readable narrative style.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

“Written in an easy, flowing style, Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas is a valuable compendium of the ideas driving some of our most important historical inquiries into Lincoln’s life and times. This first-rate collection is a significant contribution to the literature on Lincoln.”—Brian R. Dirck, author of Lincoln and Davis: Imagining America, 1809–1865

“In Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas, Guelzo continues [his] mission of situating Lincoln within the broad sweep of Western intellectual history and specifically the deep-seated Enlightenment ideas that informed his devotion to ‘rationality, individualism, personal rights, and progress’ as fundamental American principles. . . . Every essay is an exercise in revelation that connects Lincoln to a broad Western intellectual tradition, rather than asking him to spring spontaneously, if not fully formed, from the crucible of the American Backwoods.”—Kenneth J. Winkle, Journal of Historical Biography
“[Guelzo] shows Lincoln’s mind to be that of a man of great mental abilities, certainly one of the active Renaissance men of American development. Lincoln was the Thomas Jefferson of the nineteenth century, as we are recognizing more and more.”—Ray B. Browne, Journal of American Culture