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American history
Judaica

Lincoln and the Jews: A History

 
 
Author
Jonathan D. Sarna & Benjamin Shapell.
Publisher Thomas Dunne  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 11.25 x 9.3 x 1.1 inches
ISBN 9781250059536
Pages/Publication Date 272/2015
Daedalus Item Code 61600
This item is not available.
Description
As seen here in dozens of remarkable original manuscripts and images from the Shapell Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln's lifetime coincided with the emergence of Jews on the national scene. When he was born, in 1809, scarcely 3,000 Jews lived in the United States; by the end of his life, waves of immigration (largely from central Europe) had brought that number up to more than 150,000. While many Americans were alarmed by this influx, and treated Jews as religious outsiders, Lincoln promoted Jewish equality, appointed numerous Jews to public office, and used inclusive language in his rhetoric—replacing "Christian nation," for example, with "this nation under God."

"Nothing brings history to life more vividly than handwritten letters, maps, and photographs. This book is a spectacular collection of primary documents that cast new light on Lincoln.... It is a treasure."—Doris Kearns Goodwin

"Even Lincoln experts are likely to learn something from this fascinating and comprehensive study of the president's relationship with American Jews.... [Jonathan] Sarna, a preeminent historian of American Jewry, and [Benjamin] Shapell, the founder of the Shapell Manuscript Foundation, make good use of what Shapell calls 'the "other" letters of U.S. presidents'—ones that don't present significant historical facts, but that limn the quotidian aspects of Lincoln's life, such as his recommendation of his Jewish chiropodist, Issachar Zacharie. The authors convincingly make the case that Lincoln's positive attitude toward Jews was strongly influenced by Abraham Jonas—a fellow Illinois politician, the only man Lincoln ever directly called 'one of my most valued friends,' and one of the first to suggest that he seek the Republican nomination for President in 1860. Jonas also warned his friend of a plot to assassinate him before his first inauguration. Images of the source material add depth and lend perspective; a page from a narrative describing Lincoln's death is stained with blood, probably the president's."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 
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