Lincoln for President: An Unlikely Candidate, an Audacious Strategy, and the Victory No One Saw Coming
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Lincoln for President: An Unlikely Candidate, an Audacious Strategy, and the Victory No One Saw Coming

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  42 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The untold story of the drama, controversy, and incredible political genius of Lincoln's first presidential campaign

In May of 1860, Republican delegates gathered in Chicago for their second-ever convention, with the full expectation of electing William Seward their next presidential candidate. But waiting in the wings was a dark horse no one suspected, putting the final to...more
Hardcover, 396 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Sourcebooks
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The first half of this book was interesting, but my interest waned as I kept reading, and I had to make myself finish it. The second half became more statistics about the campaign than a story of the candidates. I much prefer getting to know the people to details of which county was carried by the Republicans or Democrats and by how great a percentage.

It was interesting to see how much elections have stayed the same over the years - promises to appoint campaigners/contributors to offices, manip...more
Bill P.
Chadwick begins his discussion of the 1860 election of Lincoln pointing out how little space in the many definitive biographies of Lincoln was actually devoted to his election to the presidency. Chadwick takes some 300+ pages to cover the topic thoroughly with an eye towards putting Lincoln in the drivers seat for the entire campaign. It was a different time when personal appearances were considered unseemly for a Presidential candidate, but with letter writing, personal couriers and telegrams L...more
What do you think of when you think of Abraham Lincoln? The Emancipation Proclamation? His assassination in Ford Theater? His top hat? Daniel Day Lewis winning an Oscar? After reading Lincoln for President, my mind will always go to the 1860 election.

Chadwick debunks common myth and legends about that (ultimately) crucial election. Lincoln did not appear out of nowhere and steal the presidency away from the unsuspecting Democratic party. In fact, Lincoln's rise to presidency was very carefully...more
Zach Vaughn
After the run-off elections on April 13th, I came back to Austin and picked up Lincoln for President by Bruce Chadwick. I received this book for Christmas and have finally gotten around to reading it. I have previously read John C. Waugh's Re-electing Lincoln about Lincoln's campaign in 1864, which is a very intriguing tale, and when I came across Chadwick's work back around Thanksgiving, I knew it was a book I needed to have.

Chadwick's primary motive, as he states in the prologue, is to dispell...more
Lincoln for Prez, was an very interesting read until half-3quarter way through. Then the story started to wane in my opinion. As I was reading from that point, it seemed that Chadwick was struggling to make text and an interesting one like that. It felt to me like I was listening to a high school student struggling to read an oral report that needed to consist of so many words but the student was being repetitive and unnecessary writing. It's still a good read and learned a few things which is w...more
Andrew Schneider
An excellent work on a critical moment in American history. Given the three-way split in the Democratic Party in 1860, historians have often treated the election as having gone to Lincoln almost by default. Chadwick illustrates that Lincoln, in fact, ran a masterful campaign, both as an underdog for the Republican nomination and as a candidate. He also shows just how close Lincoln came to losing, in spite of everything. Well worth reading.
Abraham Allende
This book was tedious reading. It was comparable to a graduate level thesis. It was informative but the writing was somewhat awkward, disjointed and laborious. The author undertook this project because he felt that no other Lincoln biographer had devoted many pages to the election itself. After reading this book, I can see why. Of all the book I've read on Lincoln, I would place this at the bottom of the stack.
A fairly interesting insight into the election of 1860. We see that Abraham Lincoln, "Honest Abe", was also quite the pragmatic and calculating of politicians of his time.

An interesting behind the scenes look into the events that shaped the election of the man considered our nation's greatest president by most historians.
May 27, 2013 Mary added it
Very interesting - many parallels to today. I would read other books by the author. I actually listened to the audiobook and the reader was very good too.
very insightful. gives a clear idea of the political environment surrounding one of the most divided times in our history.
Jim Swenson
Not too far along, but looks like it will rank up there with the many other Lincoln books I've read.
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