Lincoln's Last Months by William C. Harris

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



Lincoln Prize winner William C. Harris turns to the last months of Abraham Lincoln's life in an attempt to penetrate this central figure of the Civil War, and arguably America's greatest president. Beginning with the presidential campaign of 1864 and ending with his shocking assassination, Lincoln's ability to master the daunting affairs of state during the final nine months of his life proved critical to his apotheosis as savior and saint of the nation.

In the fall of 1864, an exhausted president pursued the seemingly intractable end of the Civil War. After four years at the helm, Lincoln was struggling to save his presidency in an election that he almost lost because of military stalemate and his commitment to restore the Union without slavery. Lincoln's victory in the election not only ensured the success of his agenda but led to his transformation from a cautious, often hesitant president into a distinguished statesman. He moved quickly to defuse destructive partisan divisions and to secure the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment. And he skillfully advanced peace terms that did not involve the unconditional surrender of Confederate armies. Throughout this period of great trials, he managed to resist political pressure from Democrats and radical Republicans and from those seeking patronage and profit.
By expanding the context of Lincoln's last months beyond the battlefield, Harris shows how the events of 1864-65 tested the president's life and leadership and how he ultimately emerged victorious, and became Father Abraham to a nation.


About William C. Harris

See more books from this Author
William C. Harris is Professor of History at North Carolina State University.
Published February 16, 2004 by Belknap Press. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lincoln's Last Months

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Harris (Lincoln's Last Month) takes us through the complicated decisions Lincoln had to make in order to secure the loyalty of his putative allies.

Jul 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Lincoln's Last Months

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

This image has been mapped and analyzed by a host of scholars of Lincoln and the assassination, which has shown conclusively that the image includes not only the face of Booth (uncomfortably only a few yards behind and above the president) but also the faces of at least four other assassination c...

| Read Full Review of Lincoln's Last Months

Project MUSE

With Seward, Welles, and Stanton remaining, who, each in his own way, had a particular attachment to Lincoln, Harris added (after shufflings in Treasury and Interior) four men—Speed, McCulloch, Harlan, and Dennison, who all came from "the rapidly developing and politically emerging Mississippi-Oh...

| Read Full Review of Lincoln's Last Months

Rate this book!

Add Review