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Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America
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Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  110 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews

One of the nation's foremost Lincoln scholars offers an authoritative consideration of the document that represents the most far-reaching accomplishment of our greatest president.

No single official paper in American history changed the lives of as many Americans as Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. But no American document has been held up to greater suspicion. Its bl

Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 7th 2006 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2004)
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Jan 25, 2015 Jerome rated it it was amazing
A thorough and balanced book on the Emancipation Proclamation and Lincoln’s cautious approach to the issue of slavery. Guelzo thoroughly describes all of Lincoln’s reservations and concerns on the issue: his uncertainty about the reaction of federal courts, the necessity of keeping the border states in the Union, and the divided opinion of the Northern public regarding the issues of emancipation and the place of blacks in society. To circumvent these considerable obstacles, Lincoln proposed a sy ...more
John Young
Dec 15, 2012 John Young rated it it was amazing
This is perhaps the best book I have ever read about the Civil War era. Sandburg's books on Lincoln were excellent, and Shelby Foote's books on the Civil War were great for their breadth and military content. However, this book by Allen Guelzo provides a detailed discussion of the end of slavery and arguments about its constitutionality, moral aspects, legal aspects, and how Lincoln responded to all of the criticisms from all of these viewpoints. It also provides more insights into Lincoln's per ...more
Apr 19, 2015 Tonja rated it liked it
Is the academic world in need of yet another book on Abraham Lincoln? Well-known Lincoln scholar Allen C. Geulzo believes the answer to that question is a resounding, “Yes,” but with a new approach to Lincoln’s most famous document. Geulzo, author of five books on the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln and recipient of the Lincoln Prize for three of his books, including Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America, takes on Lincoln’s war powers action to issue the Emancipat ...more
Robin Friedman
Jan 24, 2014 Robin Friedman rated it it was amazing
Abraham Lincoln issued the final version of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Near the end of that year, the artist Francis Carpenter determined to paint "a historical picture of the first reading of the Proclamation of Emancipation". Carpenter spent six months in the White House beginning in February, 1864, created a historically important painting of the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation to the cabinet, got to know Lincoln, and wrote a book detailing his experiences. Car ...more
Colleen Browne
Jan 10, 2016 Colleen Browne rated it it was amazing
This book deserves all of its accolades and more. It is clear, concise, and provocative. It explains the road Lincoln took to issuing the Proclamation, the difficulties he encountered along the way, the reasons for the style he chose to use, and its ultimate success. Those who choose to believe that the Emancipation Proclamation did not free anyone do not understand it or the law; those who choose to cast Lincoln as a lukewarm abolitionist who dragged his feet and failed to free all the enslaved ...more
Feb 02, 2009 Erika rated it it was amazing
This book was a very good read and its a good read for anyone interested in Lincoln and the politics in play during the civil war. Very eye opening for me.
Brian Anton
Oct 31, 2012 Brian Anton rated it it was amazing
Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America, a Lincoln Prize winner, was written by Allen C. Guelzo and published in 2004. In the book, he argues that President Abraham Lincoln, through the use of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, was effective in freeing the slaves. His argument differs from others that have examined the argument pertaining to the Emancipation Proclamation and whether it did, or did not, effectively emancipate slaves during the Civil War. On the opp ...more
Jan 04, 2009 Louis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An outstanding book, it takes the reader through the struggles that Lincoln dealt with in trying to end what he saw as a disgraceful practice, while trying to keep the Union together and fighting against subversion within his own ranks (his own head of the Army, General McClellan, actively worked to overthrow him and attempted to set up a military autocracy). It gives some facts that rarely come up in history lessons taught in schools, such as the fact that Lincoln was not an unbending ideologue ...more
The beginning and end of this book is very good and contains some strong analysis. Other chapters, however, were much too detailed. In short, it is worth reading if you are interested in the politics of the American Civil War.
Jun 15, 2007 Samantha rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
guelzo does a great job following and explaining lincoln's trains of thought and the endless political shimmeying (spelling? word?) to somehow sneak emancipation into law by virtue of the executive war powers. not exempted from the account is the fact that lincoln was a huge racist who really just wanted to kick the blacks out of the country altogether. and after compensated emancipation falls through with the loyal border slave states and the actual war is nothing but mcclellan ordering more su ...more
Jan 11, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it
Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation is a sturdy defense of both Lincoln and the importance of the EP (versus a raft of historical and other dismissals of its importance, including Hofstadter's "the moral grandeur of a bill of lading."). Guelzo points out both Lincoln's hatred of slavery and the constraints he felt he was operating under in freeing the slaves during wartime (keeping the Border states in the Union, court challenges, public opinion among others). It wades fairly deeply into the deb ...more
Stacy Lewis
Apr 10, 2008 Stacy Lewis rated it liked it
Very good, but sometimes plodding, discussion of the debate around emancipation. Very thorough examination of Lincoln's internal debate and also good representation of the attitudes prevalent in the North regarding blacks. What it doesn't do is discuss the failure of Reconstruction to give meaningful change to the South, but that wasn't the purpose of the book.
Feb 09, 2013 Skye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
As my education in history always ended around the less controversial War of 1812 or so and surely pussyfooted even there, this fine book has been my entire edjamacation so far about the politics of the Emancipation Proclamation and it is thrilling to learn about--- though I fear it is not so much this book that is thrilling but the events it describes.
Patrick T
Nov 09, 2013 Patrick T rated it really liked it
Allen C. Guelzo proves yet again, that he is one of the best historian on Lincoln. Great information on The Emancipation Proclamation and his point of views. People always forget that this was not just for temporary freedom of the slaves but this was also for military necessity to win the civil war.
Raymond Alldritt
Feb 11, 2013 Raymond Alldritt rated it it was amazing
This book was a joy to read. With all the documentation to support his thesis that Lincoln was always determined to end slavery, Guelzo puts to rest so much of the misinformation about Lincoln's vacillation around this issue.
Sep 15, 2008 Constantine rated it really liked it
Shelves: civil-war
A meticulous study, bringing to light the issues and personalities Lincoln wrestled with to bring forth the Proclamation -- "chief" among them Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, of Dred Scott infamy.
Jan 31, 2013 Tammy rated it it was amazing
Dr. Guelzo does an excellent job in covering the intent of the Emancipation and why it had to be done at the time that it was done. A must read for the Lincoln or Civil War enthusiast.
Stephen Graham
Jun 18, 2012 Stephen Graham rated it it was amazing
The impact was lessened by having read other works on related topics relatively recently but this is a cogent, thought-provoking look at one of the most important moments in US history.
Jan 18, 2015 Don rated it it was amazing
Tells the story extremely well -- and perhaps most important, this book and story shows how "history is messy." I really liked this book, pretty much from beginning to end.
Jun 12, 2012 Shannon rated it really liked it
Excellent companion to Garry Wills' Lincoln at Gettysburg The Words That Remad America, especially if you are interested in the power of words.
Jon helped with the research on this book while living at Eastern University for the summer of 2002.
James Keenley
May 16, 2013 James Keenley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: presidents
This is a fascinating and definitive book, written by one of today's greatest Lincoln scholars.
Joshua Berg
Mar 18, 2012 Joshua Berg rated it it was amazing
I learned quite a bit and it was engaging all the way through.
Dec 29, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing
Excellent coverage of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Garima marked it as to-read
Sep 17, 2016
Lucy Meeker
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Sep 12, 2016
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Allen Carl Guelzo (born 1953) is the Henry R. Luce III Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College, where he serves as Director of the Civil War Era Studies Program.
More about Allen C. Guelzo...

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