Vindicating Lincoln: Defending the Politics of Our Greatest President

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9780742559738: Vindicating Lincoln: Defending the Politics of Our Greatest President

Was Abraham Lincoln a racist, as some critics would have us believe? Was he the father of big government, as some others maintain? Was the sixteenth president a traitor to the cause of free society and constitutional government? Are the political principles that guided him relevant today?

In this provocative and timely book, Thomas L. Krannawitter sets out to defend the man many consider to be our greatest president from critics on both the left and the right. For although public opinion polls tend to rank Lincoln among the country's most venerated presidents, he is also, paradoxically, the president who is least understood. While Lincoln's name is frequently invoked in contemporary American politics, few Americans understand or agree with the moral and political principles for which Lincoln gave his last full measure of devotion.

Many influential authors view Lincoln as an antiquated monument, a man of his age who knew only nineteenth-century prejudices and lacked twenty-first-century enlightenment. Other writers denounce Lincoln as a tyrant who trampled upon the Constitution and states' rights, and thereby inaugurated big government and the kind of politics feared by the Founding Fathers.

Krannawitter argues that both views spring from a misunderstanding of Lincoln. Today, at precisely the moment when America is most in need of his moral and political understanding, we are more removed from Lincoln's thought than ever before.

Vindicating Lincoln reintroduces us to Lincoln the statesman, the man who defended our greatest ideals of freedom and equality at the darkest moment in American history. Krannawitter shows us why it is in our interest not only to learn about Abraham Lincoln, but to learn from him—to understand that Lincoln's guiding principles were true not only for his time, but that they remain true for ours as well.

On the eve of the bicentennial of his birth in 2009, Lincoln can offer moral and political guidance to us all.

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About the Author:

Thomas L. Krannawitter is coauthor of A Nation Under God? The ACLU and Religion in American Politics and professor of politics at Colorado Christian University.

Review:

With literate frankness, emphatic argumentation, and an abundance of sophisticated knowledge about Lincoln and his times, Krannawitter offers a brave, refreshing counter-revisionist assessment of our occasionally maligned and misunderstood 16th President. This book reminds us anew of why Lincoln was indeed great, and why so many of the recent books about him are not! Krannawitter has made a bracing, persuasive, and uplifting contribution to the literature. (Harold Holzer, co-chairman U.S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission)

Thomas Krannawitter has done us all a tremendous service. In this powerful, comprehensive, intelligent, and thoroughly researched defense of Abraham Lincoln, he has challenged head-on the small clique of recent writers who have set out to destroy a great president's reputation. He has confounded their arguments one-by-one, and reinstalled Lincoln where he belongs―in the pantheon of greatness. (John C. Waugh)

One by one, in his nine chapters, Krannawitter patiently―and sometimes hilariously―disassembles the myths of Lincoln-the-tyrant, Lincoln-the-racist, and Lincoln-the-betrayer, and once more restores the epic gleam of Lincoln the defender of natural right, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Union. (Allen C. Guelzo, Gettysburg College; author of Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President Claremont Review of Books)

Krannawitter argues that if Lincoln is not great, then no politician is, and without great politicians we sink into the deep funk of cynicism, throwing up our hands at the political process, while despots take charge. (The American Spectator)

The readable Krannawitter upholds Lincoln as the true upholder of rights enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. (Booklist)

Thomas L. Krannawitter has written 350 pages in a Herculean effort to lay out . . . iconoclastic ideas and attitudes. (The Advocate)

Questions are broken down one by one, and though each chapter involves one question . . . the book holds together well. . . . Krannawitter is offering the first detailed and single-minded defense of Lincoln in the 21st century. . . . [He] has a clear understanding of the issues, and fulfills his goal of showing how Lincoln's lessons are relevant to contemporary America. (America's Civil War)

Krannawitter does a great job of putting Lincoln's decision making and political thought in context and explaining those actions. Vindicating Lincoln is a needed and worthwhile analysis of Lincoln and the early political history of the US. It deserves a place on any historian's bookshelf to fill this niche. (Midwest Book Review)

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Book Description Rowman & Littlefield. 1 Paperback(s), 2010. soft. Book Condition: New. Was Abraham Lincoln a racist, as some critics would have us believe? Was he the father of big government, as some others maintain? And are the political principles that guided him relevant today? In this provocative book, Thomas Krannawitter sets out to defend the man many consider to be our greatest president from critics on both the left and the right, suggesting that Lincoln is, despite all of the literature available about him, paradoxically the president who is least understood. Bringing erudition and wit to the matter, Krannawitter examines Lincoln in the context of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the Dred Scott decision, and America's perennial disagreements over the intentions of the Founding Fathers. 355. Bookseller Inventory # 62350

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Book Description AltaMira Press,U.S., United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this provocative and timely book, Vindicating Lincoln, Thomas L. Krannawitter sets out to defend the man many consider to be our greatest president from critics on both the left and the right. For although public opinion polls tend to rank Lincoln among the country s most venerated presidents, he is also, paradoxically, the president who is least understood. While Lincoln s name is frequently invoked in contemporary American politics, few Americans understand or agree with the moral and political principles for which Lincoln gave his last full measure of devotion. Bookseller Inventory # ANB9780742559738

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