The Age of Lincoln

By Orville Vernon Burton
Read by Rich Mock

14.98 Hours 01/01/2006 unabridged
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Distinguished historian Orville Vernon Burton suggests that, while abolishing slavery was the age's most extraordinary accomplishment, it was the inscribing of personal liberty into the nation's millennial aspirations that was its most profound. America had always perceived providence in its progress, but in the 1840s and 1850s, a pessimism accompanied a marked extremism. Even amidst historic political compromises, the middle ground collapsed. Burton shows how the president's authentic Southerness empowered him to conduct a civil war that redefined freedom as a personal right to be expanded to all Americans. In the violent decades to follow, while the extent of that freedom would be contested, its centrality to the definition of the country would not.

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Summary

Summary

Distinguished historian Orville Vernon Burton suggests that, while abolishing slavery was the age's most extraordinary accomplishment, it was the inscribing of personal liberty into the nation's millennial aspirations that was its most profound.

America had always perceived providence in its progress, but in the 1840s and 1850s, a pessimism accompanied a marked extremism. Even amidst historic political compromises, the middle ground collapsed.

Burton shows how the president's authentic Southerness empowered him to conduct a civil war that redefined freedom as a personal right to be expanded to all Americans. In the violent decades to follow, while the extent of that freedom would be contested, its centrality to the definition of the country would not.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The Age of Lincoln offers a major reinterpretation of nineteenth-century American history from the age of Jackson to the Progressive era. Professor Burton portrays Lincoln as a product of his time and the Southern yeoman culture in which he grew up; and in turn he shows how Lincoln’s ideas, so essential for Northern victory in the war, affected the way Americans defined themselves in the postwar generation. Filled with fresh insights, The Age of Lincoln should open a new era in Civil War-Reconstruction scholarship.” David Herbert Donald, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Lincoln
“Vernon Burton offers a bold new synthesis of the Civil War era in The Age of Lincoln. He shows how the ferment of religious reform merged with the dynamism of free-labor capitalism to forge a Northern political culture that triumphed over the South and slavery.” Jim McPherson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom
“In magisterial fashion Vernon Burton’s The Age of Lincoln covers the broad panorama of the American nation’s most perilous years…Especially striking is his treatment of the Reconstruction South when the victor’s bi-racial, ‘national building’ experiment failed, a situation analogous to the current sectarian strife in Iraq.” Bertram Whatt-Brown, professor emeritus of history, University of Florida
“Burton’s intriguing thesis is that Lincoln's most profound achievement was not the abolition of slavery but the enshrinement of the principle of personal liberty protected by a body of law…For readers seeking to comprehend the sweeping social, religious and cultural backdrop to the Civil War, Burton’s book is a worthy heir to Schlesinger’s [The Age of Jackson].” Publishers Weekly
“[Chronicles] in compelling detail the process of secession, the conduct of events in the course of the Civil War itself, and acts of reconstruction…the book captures in excellent prose the early decades of modern American history.” Booklist

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Orville Vernon Burton

Orville Vernon Burton is professor of history and sociology and a University Distinguished Teacher/Scholar at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author or editor of eight previous books, including the Pulitzer prize–nominated In My Father's House Are Many Mansions.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 14.98
Audience: Adult
Language: English