Lincoln's War by Geoffrey Perret
The Untold Story of America's Greatest President as Commander in Chief

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Drawing on newly discovered documents in the National Archives, Lincoln’s War is the only full-length account to date on Abraham Lincoln as Com-mander in Chief. For the first time, readers will see the war unfold as Lincoln saw it.

This wide-ranging account casts new light on Lincoln and his generals, his admirals, his controversial Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, and his outspoken confidant Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy. The reader will also learn the true story of Lincoln’s experiences as a soldier and encounter Lincoln as amateur strategist, Lincoln in his relationship with black servicemen, Lincoln in his dealings with the Committee on the Conduct of the War, and Lincoln in his friendship with weapons pioneer Christopher Spencer, the creator of the Spencer repeater. And Lincoln’s War is filled with myriad illuminating anecdotes—including how the President, a frustrated inventor, liked to conduct his own hands-on weapons tests on waste ground near the White House.

It was Lincoln who, over the course of four years, created the role of Commander in Chief as we know it today. In doing so he saved the Union and changed the nation. This was the most important of his duties, and his greatest success. In Lincoln’s War, Geoffrey Perret—the acclaimed biographer of Ulysses S. Grant, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy, and the author of four well-received works of military history, including A Country Made by War—offers an original, vivid portrait of both a great leader and a tumultuous conflict.

About Geoffrey Perret

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GEOFFREY PERRET is the award-winning author of Old Soldiers Never Die: The Life of Douglas MacArthur, Ulysses S. Grant: Soldier & President, Eisenhower, and, most recently, Jack: A Life Like No Other, a biography of John F. Kennedy. Perret was educated at Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley and served for three years in the U.S. Army. He has been a consultant on documentaries for PBS, C-Span, ABC, Fox News, and the History Channel, and is also a contributor to American Heritage, Military History Quarterly, Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute, North & South, and Civil War Book Review. He is a member of the advisory committee of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
Published April 20, 2004 by Random House. 496 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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A veteran of battle, Lincoln had disparaged James Polk’s touching off the Mexican War: “So far as Lincoln was concerned,” Perret (Jack: A Life Like No Other, 2001, etc.) writes, “Polk had gone to war with Mexico to revive the political fortunes of the Democratic Party, and not for any higher aim....

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Publishers Weekly

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Developing increasing sophistication in coordinating battlefield victories with the wider political objectives of restoring and reintegrating the union, Abraham Lincoln won his war and in the process redefined the presidency.

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Perret argues that Lincoln employed his implicit presidential powers to mobilize armies, suspend habeas corpu

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