Lincoln the Revolutionary, Lincoln the Crusader, the Visonary this collection of essays addresses a side of Lincoln that is largely overlooked while slapping down the NeoConfederate Revisonists.Those who tout the Myth of The Confederacy As Heirs to 1776 ( a popular fable here in the Commonwealth) will read this book and shrilly denonounce it They will have however have to marshall somethingthan the Standing up For Their Rights) argument as McPherson allows the words of the Confederates to speak for themselves.More importantly, he strips away the mythology surrounding Lincoln's actions and his goals and assesses them for what they were: the logical progression of the Revolutions of 1776 and 1787 (if you find that reference puzzling come see me Bring Bourbon) at once a revolution that overthrew the existing social and political order, and a fulfillment of the earlier Revolution's philosophical goals.I used to assign this book as required reading in my American History classes.Go read it and find out why. James McPherson has emerged as one of America's finest historians Battle Cry of Freedom, his Pulitzer Prizewinning 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 CommanderinChief 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 howthrough parables and figurative languagehe 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 inpassed 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, endingyears 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 Incredibly readable and concise collection of McPherson lectures from an AP US History class in high school Some interesting points include: How the Civil War wasrevolutionary than the original American revolution of 1776 (abolition of slavery, destruction and mass redistribution of wealth, strengthening of the power of the federal government, etc) Lincoln's grand strategies for winning the war, as opposed to specific operational / military strategies The evolution of said national strategies during the early years of the war (ie: limited war vs total war for unconditional surrender, supporting the status quo on slavery vs the later Emancipation Proclamation, etc) Lincoln's rhetoricMy only real criticism would be that as 7 standalone chapters, the book featuresthan a small amount of redundancy in the primary source material quoted. The challenge facing any author who wants to write about Abraham Lincoln is finding a way to say something new In Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution, historian James McPherson meets that challenge quite well By the time this book was published in the early 1990's, McPherson had already published Battle Cry of Freedom, a bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner Battle Cry of Freedom is still widely regarded as this generation's definitive singlevolume history of the Civil War, and perhaps this book's appearance a short time later reflects a public demand forof McPherson's work Whatever the reasons for its publication, Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution makes a valuable contribution to Lincoln studies and to Civil War studies generally.It is not, mind you, a comprehensive Civil War history on the order of Battle Cry Rather, it is a collection of seven essays, delivered and published in various scholarly venues between 1982 and 1991; and while McPherson assures us that he has worked to eliminate overlap among the essays, you will see a couple of quotes appearing multiple times The common denominator that the essays share, an important one, is that all focus on Lincoln as war leader, and on the Civil War as a second American Revolution a conflict that, in bringing an end to slavery, fulfilled the promises of American liberty that had been set forth in the original American Revolution, four score and sevenodd years earlier.The essays deal with topics such as Lincoln's leadership style, his beliefs regarding liberty, his strategy of compelling an unconditional Confederate surrender, and the way in which Lincoln's gift for language contributed to his political success Two of the essays, Lincoln and Liberty and Liberty and Power in the Second American Revolution, seem particularly applicable to the controversies of modern American life More than once, McPherson invokes the British philosopher Isaiah Berlin's writings on negative liberty (freedom from) and positive liberty (freedom to) as he discusses the way in which American views on liberty changed during the Civil War era.McPherson's writing style, as always, is mellifluous; his presentation of his evidence is meticulous; his arguments are persuasive If you enjoy McPherson's works of Civil War history, you will enjoy Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution. Read this book For my Book Analysis in History I am biased towards President Lincoln so this book could do no wrong and it was not the first book/ collection of essays that I have read on the subject If you are interested in Civil War era History or Political Science this is a wonderful read its short may take you a couple days to a week(s) to read but offers not really an original but entertaining (no Vampires) look into the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War viewed as Americas Second Revolution. European radicals also viewed the American Civil War as a revolution In London, Karl Marx followed the American war with intense interest Marx described the war for the Union against the “slave oligarchy” as a potentially world transformingrevolution movement” if the North would only seize the moment to proclaim abolition of slavery When Lincoln did so, Marx was ecstatic: “‘Never’ has such a gigantic transformation taken place so rapidly.” A wonderful analysis of the impact of Lincoln's presidency and decision making on American culture. McPherson has in this short book provided a density of thoughtprovoking information unsurpassed by other scholars The book consists of seven essays drawn from presentations and lectures McPherson has given to a variety of organizations Each delves in its own way into the question of whether the Civil War was a second American revolution He examines what revolution means, the idea of counterrevolution, the competing concepts of liberty held in the North and South, and even Lincoln as a hedgehog surrounded by foxes McPherson shows why he is considered one of the, if not the, expert on Civil War America This is actually the third time I've read this book The first was soon after it was published in 1991 I then read it again in 2009, and now again as part of a book discussion group in the Lincoln Group of DC Each time I've learned . Readable essays on the theme that people back then thought that the Civil War was a second American revolution, and that they were right Mainly because it changed our republic by establishing the principle that America was not just a country for white people but for everybody As imperfectly as racial equality was enforced as Reconstruction started to break down and well into the 20th century, at least the principle was established that the words of the Declaration of Independence applied to all Americans, regardless of color or previous condition of servitude, to use the words of one of the postCivil War constitutional amendments McPherson presents Lincoln as a singleminded fighter for the Union who found a way to during the war to harmonize his duty to uphold the Constitution with his personal belief that if slavery isn't wrong, then nothing is wrong. This is a lovely little book of essays James McPherson, an preeminent Civl War historian, thinks aloud about the question, what was at stake in the Civil War? What was at stake in the fundamental character of America? He finds the answer in Lincoln's political philosophy, his understanding of the meaning of the Declaration of Independence, his rhetoric, and the decisions he made, prosecuting the war The answer to what was at stake?, then, tells us a lot about Lincoln, but also lays out a particular vision of America, and the American promise, and whether that promise even makes sensea question Lincoln wrestled with.Lincoln's vision of the promise of America is deeply realistic, and yet stubbornly hopeful, that I really appreciate it, in times like these.