A Lincoln Dialogue


A Lincoln Dialogue

James A. Rawley
Edited and with a foreword by William G. Thomas

640 pages
13 photographs, 9 illustrations


July 2014


$49.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

The words of Abraham Lincoln have been immortalized in speeches and enshrined in policies and practices, and none of those words, spoken or written, has gone unnoticed or wanted for a response. It is this broader context—the wider conversation about Lincoln’s words—that this book discusses. The final project of James A. Rawley, a preeminent historian of the Civil War era, A Lincoln Dialogue cross-examines Lincoln’s major statements, papers, and initiatives in light of the comments and criticism of his supporters and detractors. 
Drawn from letters and newspapers, pamphlets and reports, these statements and responses constitute a unique documentary examination of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. Rawley’s careful selection and his judicious interweaving of historical analysis and background invite us into the dialogue and allow us to hear the voices of American history in the making.

Author Bio

James A. Rawley (1916–2005) was the Carol Adolph Happold Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. His many books include The Transatlantic Slave Trade: A History, revised edition (Nebraska, 2009), and Abraham Lincoln and a Nation Worth Fighting For (Nebraska, 2003). William G. Thomas is the John and Catherine Angle Chair in the Humanities and a professor of history at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He is the author of several books, including The Iron Way: Railroads, the Civil War, and the Making of Modern America.


"[A Lincoln Dialogue] is a unique look at Abraham Lincoln's presidency."—James E. Potter, Nebraska History

"Thomas has done devotees of Abraham Lincoln a service by bringing Rawley's manuscript to publication."—John F. Marszalek, Journal of Southern History

"Innovative and refreshing. . . . Rawley highlights Lincoln's evolutionary tack toward emancipation, leadership skills over his cabinet and fractured party, questions concerning the expansion of presidential war powers, and overall maturation during his four years in office."—John A. Lupton, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association

“There is no [other] work that provides the extensive and complete documents selected for this book. Rawley’s unique approach will make a significant contribution to the existing literature.”—Charles M. Hubbard, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Institute for the Study of Leadership and Public Policy at Lincoln Memorial University

“This is a truly remarkable, one-of-a-kind, book. The product of decades of passionate work, A Lincoln Dialogue somehow feels as current as the newest social media. Interweaving powerful documents with eloquent commentary, the story here evokes the tumultuous years of Lincoln’s presidency in ways more conventional books simply cannot. The story unfolds before us with surprises at every turn, familiar events suddenly made unfamiliar by new voices and new angles of vision.”—Edward L. Ayers, president of the University of Richmond and author of In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America

Table of Contents

Introducing Abraham Lincoln
1. Lincoln Is Nominated
2. The Campaign of 1860
3. Interregnum
4. From Springfield to Washington
5. Lincoln Frames a Cabinet
6. The First Inaugural
7. Fort Sumter Crisis
8. The First Civil War Congress
9. The Loyalty Question in Border Slave States
10. Missouri, an Unruly Union Partner
11. Frémont Proclaims Freedom in Missouri
12. First Bull Run
13. Enter McClellan
14. The Thirty-Seventh Congress, Second Session
15. Grant and the War in the West
16. Exit McClellan, Enter Pope, and Another Bull Run
17. Antietam and Another McClellan Exit
18. Emancipation
19. The Fall of 1862
20. A Winter of Discontent
21. The Supreme Court and Lincoln’s War Powers
22. Hooker and Chancellorsville
23. Vallandigham and Civil Liberties
24. Arming Black Soldiers
25. Gibraltar of the West
26. Gettysburg
27. Lincoln vs. Seymour
28. The Emergence of Grant
29. Thirty-Eighth Congress, First Session
30. Reconstruction
31. Grant Moves South
32. Presidential Nomination Saga
33. The Election of 1864
34. The Last Civil War Congress
35. The Hampton Roads Peace Conference
36. Death of Lincoln

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