What Lincoln Believed: The Values and Convictions of America's Greatest President (Paperback)
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.
About the Author
Michael Lind is cofounder of the New America Foundation and policy director of its Economic Growth Program. His first three books of political journalism and history The Next American Nation, Up from Conservatism, and Vietnam: The Necessary War were all New York Times Notable Books. He writes frequently for the New York Times, Financial Times, and Salon.
“It will almost certainly change the way you think about America and one of its greatest presidents. . . . Lind makes an already somewhat mysterious president still more puzzling and interesting.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Well-researched and reasoned. . . . Adds valuable perspective to the vast arena of Lincoln scholarship. Lind’s aim is to give us a Lincoln in the context of his own times, as a man who lived within history and not above it.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“A thought-provoking contribution to the Lincoln literature that deserves to be taken seriously and will surely prompt debate.”—The Washington Post Book World
“[Lind] allows the reader to see beyond the surface for an intimate glimpse of this truly American icon.”—Tucson Citizen