Critic says professors are unfairly dismissing Sidney Blumenthal’s biography of Lincoln

Historians in the News
tags: Lincoln, Sidney Blumenthal

Thumbnail Image -  By Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0

“Who is this huckster in politics?” asks an angry abolitionist upon Abraham Lincoln’s nomination for president.“Who is the country court advocate?”

A man of a different political stripe than that abolitionist, while campaigning against Lincoln in 1860, called him “infinitely worse than a Yankee Abolitionist.”

Thus did Abraham Lincoln inspire not merely contradictory opinions in men but violently contradictory opinions. Sometimes he inspired different opinions in the same person. According to his law partner, William Herndon, Lincoln was “ambitious, secretive, and somewhat selfish …” while also “full of honesty, integrity, sincerity; open, fair, and candid when speaking or acting.”

“He seemed paradoxical,” writes Sidney Blumenthal in A Self-Made Man, “but was of a piece.”

Much of what is said about Lincoln in the first of a proposed three-volume set has been presented before; how can that not be true in a book about the most written about human being who ever lived? Seldom, though, has the information been placed in a more illuminating context. ...

Read entire article at The Daily Beast

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