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Lincoln in the World: The Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  82 ratings  ·  40 reviews
A captivating look at how Abraham Lincoln evolved into one of our seminal foreign-policy presidents—and helped point the way to America’s rise to world power.

This is the story of one of the most breathtaking feats in the annals of American foreign policy—performed by one of the most unlikely figures. Abraham Lincoln is not often remembered as a great foreign-policy preside
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Hardcover, 432 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Crown (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,635)
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Michael
I found this a great window on how Lincoln managed a series of crises that played a significant role in setting America on the path to become a world power. Just when the U.S. was most vulnerable from its Civil War, England and France were at the height of consolidating their empires, and the temptation to intervene was a substantial threat to the independent course of U.S. development. How a country lawyer who had never been outside the U.S. handled international relations makes for an interest ...more
Utena
This book takes a fascinating look at Abraham Lincoln's role in not only changing the presidency but also into his impact on foreign policy-making. It also takes on his earlier life as both a lawyer and a statesman.

I found the book fascinating and interesting. I honestly had not seen any sort of books on his policy making. If there have been, it had been mostly brief. Most books tend to just cover his presidency and the impact his death made upon the Union.

I did not know of the British newspap
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Travis (Home of Reading)
When I heard about this book I was intrigued. There have been a lot of books written about President Lincoln and I feel like I have read most of them. So I was happy to hear about an angle on the president I had not read before. Getting into the book it became clear Peraino certainly did his research. The world of international diplomacy can get pretty convoluted real fast and he manages to steer the reader through that world effectively.

As a straight up history book this Lincoln in the World wo
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Sharon Huether
I won this book through Goodreads. Lincoln in the World: The making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power By Kevin Peraino A thought came to me while reading this book. Lincolns presidency was much like manageing a three ring circus. The war between the states, his cabinet, congress and the European nations. I have more admiration for President Lincoln than I ever had before. I liked what the author said about Lincolns background in the prologue. Kudos to President Lincoln. He wrote his ...more
Steven Z.
The opening narrative of Kevin Peraino’s new book, LINCOLN IN THE WORLD: THE MAKING OF A STATESMAN AND THE DAWN OF AMERICAN POWER finds the Lincolns at Ford’s theater with Mary Todd Lincoln resting her hand on her husband’s knee. The author points out that this type of “tender” behavior was not the norm as Mrs. Lincoln was prone to spells of anger where she exhibited rather obnoxious and nasty behavior toward her husband which at times belittled him verbally for not having the wealth to take her ...more
Robin Friedman
Charles Evans Hughes, a Secretary of State, Supreme Court Chief Justice, and presidential candidate, once observed that "we all need a course on Lincoln". For all the attention Lincoln receives, much remains to be learned. Kevin Peraino's new book, "Lincoln in the World: the Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power" (2013) explores a lesser-known aspect of Lincoln's presidency: his approach to foreign policy. Peraino served as senior writer and bureau chief for "Newsweek" and has wri ...more
Peter Mcloughlin
This book looks at how Lincoln as president dealt with foreign leaders and foreign policy during the Civil war. This was a time where there were multiple great powers vying for control and the balance of power. It resembles the international politics of the post American 21st century with multiple powers as well. It was no mean feat keeping European powers from getting involved in the American Civil war. Lord Palmerston of Britain at this time could make more trouble for Lincoln than anything th ...more
Andy Shuping
ARC provided by NetGalley

This book takes a close look at Lincoln's role as in foreign-policy making, from his early days as a congressman to his work as President of the United States. The author focuses each chapter on a particular person in Lincoln's life, such as the first chapter titled "Lincoln vs. Herndon" (his law partner) and how battles/conversations with each person shaped Lincoln's views and led him to the presidency. Although the author is at times a bit verbose, he does an excellent
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Tiffany
I won this book as a goodreads giveaway, which I was super excited about. I pretty much devour anything historical and this book was no exception. The book goes in-depth regarding Lincoln's role as a foreign policy setter and makes the argument that Lincoln may have been one of our country's greatest diplomats. I found this book to be extremely educational and enjoyable to read. I enjoyed Peraino's style of writing and I hope to read more of his work. If you want to learn more about Lincoln, I t ...more
Rick
It’s a surprising pleasure to read Peraino’s Lincoln in the World. I fancy myself to be an amateur expert on Lincoln, and, for me, this is a new angle on Old Abe. Of course, Lincoln’s role in the Civil War is part of the book, but it’s not the main theme. I realize that it’s too easy to forget that stuff was going on outside the United States while we were slogging through the Civil War. The US government, under Lincoln, maintained an active foreign policy, and attempted to influence and was inf ...more
Quentin Stewart
This book offers a look at the Lincoln presidency and the Civil War that not too many others have looked at. Though tied down to a domestic crisis at home Lincoln also had to deal with foreign issues also. Probably the biggest issue was to keep the European powers from allying themselves with the Confederacy.

Peraino delves into the Lincoln foreign policy in relationship with six different individuals. He discusses Lincoln's developing foreign policy as he and his partner Herndon debate the issu
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Steve Smits
Most historical works on the Civil War or biographies of Lincoln brush lightly on his record on to foreign affairs. Little is said of his position on the Mexican War as a one-term congressman during that conflict. During the Civil War reference to his administration’s foreign relations are usually limited to the Trent affair and to efforts to prevent intervention by the European powers on the side of the Confederacy. The French invasion of Mexico is often as a minor footnote in contrast to the s ...more
Matt
The role that Abraham Lincoln had in transforming the presidency has primarily been viewed in the realm of domestic and of war powers while neglecting his contributions to the presidency in the role of foreign affairs. In "Lincoln in the World", author Kevin Peraino aimed to explore Lincoln's dealing with the international community while engaging in a civil war that threatened to involve other nations.

Peraino divided his book into six sections, five of which he compared Lincoln to an individual
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Andrew
Kevin Peraino's study of Lincoln's foreign policy was an interesting read. I agreed with most, but not all, of his conclusions.

The book focuses on several key points in Lincoln's career: the Mexican War, his first inaugural, the affair with the British vessel Trent, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Napoleon III installing a puppet government in Mexico. Peraino picks Lincoln's "opponent" in each instance and compares the two.

The chapter on Lincoln's first inaugural was one of the strongest. Sew
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Jill
Peraino assembles an impressive amount of research to shed light on Lincoln through the lenses of his foreign policy and of impressions of him from abroad, both prior to and during his presidency. The book focuses on five key episodes the author feels best illustrates Lincoln’s diplomatic philosophy, including his objections to the 1846 American invasion of Mexico; his early sparring with Seward over control of foreign policy; the critical decision during the Trent crisis of 1861, which, had it ...more
Eric
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Kevin Peraino’s Lincoln in the World is a well-researched and enjoyable book. The narrative takes up a little more than 300 pages, with more than 70 pages dedicated to the copious notes to the text. Peraino, a “veteran journalist” (according to the back cover), definitely approaches the topic in a news reporting way: he breaks down the topic into six digestible topics, linked by overarching themes in chronological order.

The sections of
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Justin
Certainly more so than any other American president, Lincoln has been the subject of gallons of ink. And so on it continues. Any new biographer, then, needs some way to separate their book from the pack. Peraino takes what at first seems an odd tack, to explore Lincoln’s foreign policy. After all, wasn’t the Civil War our most dramatically and thoroughly inward period, and wasn’t Lincoln the logsplitter a far cry from the cosmopolitan diplomat? Yes, to a point, but Lincoln’s foreign policy is we ...more
Annie Chanse
***I won this book through the first reads giveaway program***

I really loved this book on Lincoln. Unlike many of the books I've read on Lincoln, this one focuses less on his life and childhood and more on his time in office and his policies. I was hesitant at first when I had never heard of the author. I usually only like to read non-fiction books from authors that I know and respect and can count on to tell fair and accurate stories, but Kevin Peraino did a marvelous job of painting a portrait
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Terri
Lincoln in the World: the Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power by Kevin Peraino is a book that takes a deep look into an often overlooked topic of the Lincoln administration--his foreign policy and how it helped to shape modern America. The book looks back at many different aspects of Lincoln's foreign relations, from his beginnings in Springfield debating the Mexican-American War with his law partner to the Trent affair and the communication between Napoleon III and Maxmillian o ...more
Jerome
We don’t think of Lincoln as a great foreign-policy president, and all but a few of his diplomatic feats (such as the Trent affair) have been obscured or forgotten. Perino, however, has written a superb book on Lincoln’s record in this critical area. Perino also does a great job explaining Lincoln’s worldview and how it evolved.

Perino begins with the formative experience in foreign affairs for Lincoln: the Mexican War, which was partly waged to expand southern slave territory and based on quest
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Mitchell
First of all, I got this book as part of Goodreads First Reads program. This book comes on the heels (sort of) the Lincoln film that did really well and probably renewed interest in Lincoln and his administration. Now, I have to admit, I've never really studied Lincoln, but, I thought I had a decent grasp on what he did and what his major accomplishments were.

This book is ostensibly about Lincoln's foreign policies, something which the author contends has been only lightly examined in the past.
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Josh
This was the first book I received through the Goodreads "First Read" program. Peraino seeks to track Lincoln's development from Senator to President with regards to his positions on foreign policy. He does this by exploring Lincoln's relationships and disputes with friends, cabinet members, and foreign leaders. The book is well-researched, with a large section of references that also include suggested further reading. As a journalist, Peraino utilizes many newspaper accounts of various moments, ...more
Naomi
Read my full review: http://bit.ly/1hsEg7l

A bit dry in places but making me love Lincoln even more. Shows his strengths as a statesman coming from a lack of education and grooming.

Has aspects of it that feel as a fictional read which I loved. Very inviting for the most part. I loved the deeper learning of key people in Lincoln's life, such as Herndon and his cabinet.I think one of the things I found most interesting was how much Mary Todd Lincoln had tried to interject herself into foreign rela
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Lucas
This book examines Lincoln's role in global politics and offers new insights about one of America's greatest presidents.

I won this book through Goodreads Giveaways.
Daniel Hood
I am impressed with this book. One of my blindsides with the American Civil War was events like the Trent Affair so I appreciate this book explored that. Also, I am impressed by Peraino's research into Lincoln's foreign policy stances before the Civil War and giving us brief insights into Prime Minister Palmerston and Napoleon III when covering their respective sections.

As the book states, foreign policy isn't usually explored with the American Civil War even though it did play a major part. I'd
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Sarah Wagner
*I received this book through Goodreads First Reads giveaway.*

I really enjoyed this look at Lincoln's foreign policy. I will admit I have not read much on this American president since high school history and I think I would have gotten more out of it had I also read a biography. Nevertheless, Peraino displays a command of narrative history in this work and gives the reader enough amusing details to keep one reading. One gets a good sense of the personalities involved in international politics d
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Danny Biles
A good book. Rather than concentrate on the Civil War, this work centers on the foreign policy of Lincoln and his administration. It gives a lot of insight into the characteristics of the major players at that time, including for example, Seward and Marx. It is scholarly and well-researched, yet easily read by a non-expert. The only negative I can pass along is that the writing is a little choppy. But, this is a minor point. Definitely worth reading.
Amanda
I liked this book but it really was more about the foreign interactions that Lincoln had than his foreign policy, it really showed that Lincoln went along with the times in regards to his foreign policy, he didn't set much of a course as the author tries to describe.
William Monaco
Very good book that explores a facet of Lincoln's presidency not often discussed in most other books about our 16th President. Peraino's book gives the reader new insights into how intelligently Lincoln pursued foreign affairs, keeping other armies out of the Civil War and ultimately preserving and strengthening the Union.
Michael
First Reads Win.

I really don't think this book was described right. I had thought the author was trying to show that Lincoln was much more involved in international diplomacy than people think, but it's really more of a biography of Lincoln intertwined with bio's of several international figures.
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