(Winner of the 2015 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize) Lincoln Scholar Harold Holzer offers us this insightful profile of Abraham Lincoln as a man who clearly understood the role of the press in manipulating public opinion. From his earliest days, Lincoln devoured newspapers. As he started out in politics he wrote editorials and letters to argue his case before the public. And as president, Lincoln alternately pampered, battled, and manipulated the three most powerful publishers of the day: Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune, James Gordon Bennett of the New York Herald, and Henry Raymond of the New York Times. Holzer shows us an activist Lincoln through journalists who covered him from his start through to the night of his assassination, when one reporter ran to the box where Lincoln was shot and emerged covered with blood to write the story.
"Lincoln believed that 'with public sentiment nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.' Harold Holzer makes a significant contribution to our understanding of Lincoln's leadership by showing us how deftly he managed his relations with the press of his day to move public opinion forward to preserve the Union and abolish slavery."—Doris Kearns Goodwin