Abraham Lincoln : contemporary : an American legacy : a collection of essays Campbell, Calif. : Savas Woodbury, 1996 1882810015 edited by Frank J. Williams and William D. Pederson Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. xvii, 228 p. : ports. ; 23 cm. Bibliography: p 217-220. Includes index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
According to Long history has thrown up precious few individuals who have “reshaped the landscape of human experience and potential.” Of all the great national leaders of the previous century, “the individual who stands like a colossus astride the nineteenth century – the champion of democratic government and the common person at a time when the rest of the world had rejected such notions in favor of monarchs and despots – is Abraham Lincoldn, and he is at the center of “American history.”
Lincoln has been a source of dissension for every generation of Americans since the Civil War, and every president since Lincoln has had the unenviable task of attempting to conduct his administration against the measuring stick left by our sixteenth chief executive or of fulfilling their Constitutional duties. It has been our great tragedy that more have chosen the former than the latter. As demonstrated by this wide range of essays, his influence is indeed pervasive. These papers, written by selected presidential and social historians, contribute significantly to our understanding of Lincoln the autocrat, dictator, revolutionist, and role model for future “strong executives”.
Some of the topics include: a fascinating examination of Lincoln’s quarrelsome cabinet; a trio of essays on his impact on successors Rutherford Hayes, FDR, and Gerald Ford; two sharply contrasting opinions regarding Lincoln’s contentious relations with the Supreme Court and his assumption and exercise of unconstitutional powers; and an engrossing discussion of the visions, dreams and premonitions that haunted Lincoln until his death by an assassin’s bullet – whether they were the result of bad conscience or a manifestation of mental disease is not explored and that is the true failing of this book full of failings.