Lincoln by Harold Holzer
How Abraham Ended Slavery in America: A Companion Book for Young Readers to the Steven Spielberg Film (How Abraham Ended Salvery in America)

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Synopsis

A new book—and companion to the Steven Spielberg film—tracing how Abraham Lincoln came to view slavery . . . and came to end it.

Steven Spielberg focused his movie Lincoln on the sixteenth president's tumultuous final months in office, when he pursued a course of action to end the Civil War, reunite the country, and abolish slavery. Invited by the filmmakers to write a special Lincoln book as a companion to the film, Harold Holzer, the distinguished historian and a consultant on the movie, now gives us a fast-paced, exciting new book on Lincoln's life and times, his evolving beliefs about slavery, and how he maneuvered to end it.

The story starts on January 31, 1865—less than three months before Lincoln's assassination—as the president anxiously awaits word on whether Congress will finally vote to pass the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Although the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier had authorized the army to liberate slaves in Confederate territory, only a Constitutional amendment passed by Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the states would end slavery legally everywhere in the country.

Drawing from letters, speeches, memoirs, and documents by Lincoln and others, Holzer goes on to cover Lincoln's boyhood, his moves from Kentucky to Indiana to Illinois, his work as a lawyer and congressman, his unsuccessful candidacies for the U.S. Senate and his victory in two presidential elections, his arduous duties in the Civil War as commander in chief, his actions as president, and his relationships with his family, political rivals, and associates. Holzer provides a fresh view of America in those turbulent times, as well as fascinating insights into the challenges Lincoln faced as he weighed his personal beliefs against his presidential duties in relation to the slavery issue.

The passage of the Thirteenth Amendment would become the crowning achievement of Abraham Lincoln's life and the undisputed testament to his political genius. By viewing his life through this prism, Holzer makes an important passage in American history come alive for readers of all ages.

The book also includes thirty historical photographs, a chronology, a historical cast of characters, texts of selected Lincoln writings, a bibliography, and notes.

 

About Harold Holzer

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Harold Holzer, one of the country's leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era, serves as chairman of the Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation. He has authored, coauthored, and edited forty-two books, including Emancipating Lincoln, Lincoln at Cooper Union, and three award-winning books for young readers: Father Abraham: Lincoln and His Sons, The President Is Shot!, and Abraham Lincoln, the Writer. His awards include the Lincoln Prize and the National Humanities Medal. He lives in New York City.
 
Published December 11, 2012 by Newmarket for It Books. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment, War, Children's Books. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lincoln

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From his inauguration to his assassination, Lincoln fulfilled the role of commander in chief so skillfully as to become a model for succeeding presidents—reason enough, Holzer (Lincoln and New York, 2009, etc.) argues, to understand clearly the Lincoln record.

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Kirkus Reviews

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Had it not been for his “right makes might” speech on Feb. 27, 1860, at New York’s Cooper Union college, Abraham Lincoln might well have remained a rustic lawyer and back-country raconteur.

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On New Year’s Day 1863, Lincoln steadied himself before signing the document whose culture-changing significance he well understood: “If my name ever goes into history it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.” Today Lincoln’s image as “the Great Emancipator” has eroded—too politically...

Jan 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln ...

Kirkus Reviews

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Holzer, author and editor of numerous books on the Civil War and Lincoln (The Lincoln Mailbag, not reviewed, etc.), has assembled another collection for those with insatiable appetites for information about the 16th president.

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Kirkus Reviews

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Award-winning Lincoln scholar Holzer (Lincoln at Cooper Union, 2004, etc.) meticulously examines the ominous period between the 16th president’s election and his swearing in.

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The Roanoke Times

However, Holzer’s presentation makes it easy to see that a consistent theme was beginning to develop in Lincoln’s public statements about war and his concepts of American government.

May 30 2011 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln ...

HistoryNet

LINCOLN AS I KNEW HIM: GOSSIP, TRIBUTES & REVELATIONS FROM HIS BEST FRIENDS AND WORST ENEMIES, edited by Harold Holzer, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 288 pages, $16.95.

Aug 11 2001 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln ...

Civil War News

For example, Holzer explains that Lincoln’s famous Aug. 22, 1862, letter to Horace Greeley about emancipation took advantage of a political gift: “Greeley did not realize it, but he had given Lincoln a perfect opportunity to couch his forthcoming order [the preliminary emancipation ...

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Civil War News

This book provides a much-needed summary of emancipation scholarship in recognition of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation’s 150th anniversary on Sept.

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