Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World

Eric Foner

W.W. Norton & Company, 2008

Agent: Sandra Dijkstra

Our best historians offer fresh insights on Abraham Lincoln and his time to mark the upcoming bicentennial of Lincoln's birth.

In 1876 the abolitionist Frederick Douglass observed, "No man can say anything that is new of Abraham Lincoln." Undeterred, the contributors to Our Lincolnbelieve it is possible even now, especially if the starting point is the interaction between the life and the times. Several of these original essays focus on Lincoln's leadership as president and commander in chief. James M. McPherson examines Lincoln's deft navigation of the crosscurrents of politics and wartime strategy. Sean Wilentz assesses Lincoln's evolving position in the context of party politics. On slavery and race, Eric Foner writes of Lincoln and the movement to colonize emancipated slaves outside the United States. James Oakes considers Lincoln's views on race and citizenship. There are also brilliant essays on Lincoln's literary style, religious beliefs, and family life. The Lincoln who emerges is a man of his time, yet able to transcend and transform it—a reasonable measure of greatness.

“An award-winning historian assembles 12 essays from distinguished scholars commenting on Lincoln – the man, the emancipator and the chief executive…. The essays are highly readable, mercifully free of academic cant and at least hint at new Lincoln discoveries, large and small…. As the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth approaches, these provocative essays contribute a perfect sneak preview of the likely scholarly agenda.”
Kirkus Reviews