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What Lincoln Believed

The Values and Convictions of America's Greatest President

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Countless books have been written about Abraham Lincoln, yet few historians and biographers have taken Lincoln seriously as a thinker or attempted to place him in the context of major intellectual traditions. In this refreshing, brilliantly argued portrait, Michael Lind examines the ideas and beliefs that guided Lincoln as a statesman and shaped the United States in its time of great crisis.In a century in which revolutions against monarchy and dictatorship in Europe and Latin America had failed, Lincoln believed that liberal democracy must be defended for the good of the world. During an age in which many argued that only whites were capable of republican government, Lincoln insisted on the universality of human rights and the potential for democracy everywhere. Yet he also held many of the prejudices of his time; his opposition to slavery was rooted in his allegiance to the ideals of the American Revolution, not support for racial equality. Challenging popular myths and capturing Lincoln’s strengths and flaws, Lind offers fascinating and revelatory insights that deepen our understanding of this great and complicated man.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Feb 21, 2005 – People from across the political spectrum are embracing Lincoln in the ongoing debate over our 16th president's political philosophy. Several months after Mario Cuomo's Why Lincoln Matters: Today More Than Ever, political commentator Lind (The Next American Nation) endeavors with some success to disassemble Lincoln as a liberal icon and reclaim him as a hero for American conservatives. Lind argues that a raft of biographies written by left-wingers during FDR's New Deal identified Lincoln with a progressivism he would have found abhorrent. As Lind cogently points out, Lincoln repeatedly identified himself as a Henry Clay Whig. "Henry Clay had helped organize the Whig Party in opposition to Jackson, the hero of New Deal Democrats.... Cut off from his political predecessors, Lincoln was also separated from the Republican presidents who succeeded him, such as William McKinley and Herbert Hoover." Likewise, Lind quite correctly places Lincoln in the conservative Federalist tradition of Hamilton, Jay and Adams: men who worried about the tyranny of the majority and the risk to property inherent in democracy, and therefore sought to maintain democracy by building in limitations. Thus Lincoln as shown here remains the champion of government of the people, by the people and for the people—but with a few major asterisks.
What Lincoln Believed
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: May 17, 2005
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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