No American president before or since has faced the problems that confronted Abraham Lincoln when he took office in 1861. Nor has any president expressed himself with such eloquence on issues of great moment. Lincoln's writings reveal the depth of his thought and feeling and the sincerity of his convictions as he weighed the cost of freedom and preserving the Union. Now for the first time an annotated edition of Lincoln's essential writings examines the extraordinary man who produced them and explains the context in which they were composed.
The Annotated Lincoln spans three decades of Lincoln's career, from his initial political campaign for state assemblyman in 1832 to his final public address on Reconstruction, delivered three days before his assassination on April 15, 1865. Included here are selections from his personal and political letters, poetry, speeches, and presidential messages and proclamations. In their generous annotations, Harold Holzer and Thomas Horrocks explore Lincoln's thoughts on slavery, emancipation, racial equality, the legality of secession, civil liberties in wartime, and the meaning of the terrible suffering caused by the Civil War. And they bring Lincoln's writings into the ambit of Lincoln scholarship, to offer a broader appreciation of his thoughts, words, and career.
Numerous illustrations throughout animate historical events and actors. Teachers, students, and especially Lincoln enthusiasts will treasure this elegant volume and keep it close at hand for reference and enjoyment.