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American history
military history
political science

Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year

David Von Drehle.
Publisher Henry Holt  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
ISBN 9780805079708
Pages/Publication Date 467/2012
Daedalus Item Code 41685
This item is not available.
As 1862 dawned, the federal government appeared overwhelmed, the U.S. Treasury was broke, and the Union's top general was gravely ill. The Confederacy, with its booming economy and expert military leadership, had a clear view to victory. But by January 1, 1863, the tide had turned. The Union generals who would win the war had at last emerged, the Confederate Army had suffered key losses that would lead to its doom, and Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Here David Von Drehle, author of Triangle: The Fire That Changed America, reveals how greatly the survival of the country depended on the judgment, cunning, and resilience of the unschooled frontier lawyer who had recently been elected president—and how 1862 had forged Lincoln into a singular commander-in-chief.

"A terrific read packed with fascinating facts that add color to a powerful depiction of the Civil War's second year. The narrative is driven by Lincoln's movement toward freedom for the slaves and his growing disenchantment with General McClellan, climaxed by the general's removal from command and the president's issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation."—James M. McPherson

"The year 1863 is often described as the decisive one of the Civil War, given the Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg. Von Drehle, editor at large at Time and author of the widely acclaimed Triangle, the story of the infamous 1911 New York factory fire, asserts that 1862 was the transformative year.... Confederate forces threatened Washington, and Union general McClellan had a bad case of the slows, despite his command of a huge army. In the political realm, Lincoln was struggling to master the strong egos in his cabinet, and he seemed to lack the will or confidence to demand more aggressive action from McClellan. As the year advanced, Von Drehle illustrates Lincoln's transformation into a great political and war leader, who learned to manage and effectively utilize the talents of his advisors and decisively assumed the role of commander in chief, dismissing McClellan and beginning the advancement of fighting officers, especially Grant. This is an excellently researched chronicle of the year that helped change the direction of the war."—Booklist

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