New Book Asks Who Was the Real Abraham Lincoln?

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A new book seeks to shed light on the impact and political controversies of one of the great figures in American history, Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln’s American Dream, a collection of essays by leading historians and political scientists including new works and classic writings in the field, explores Lincoln’s monumental, yet controversial legacy.

Joseph Fornieri, assistant professor of political science at Rochester Institute of Technology, and Kenneth Deutsch, professor of political science at State University of New York at Geneseo, edit the book and provide an extensive introduction that guides the reader through these controversies.

“There is fascinating debate among scholars and politicians over Lincoln’s impact, ranging from those who claim that he is our political savior to those who claim that he was nothing short of a dictator and racist,” Fornieri says. “Our book presents all these views in one place, in the form of a debate, so readers can decide for themselves about the man and his place in American history.”

The essays focus on a wide variety of subjects including race and equality, executive power, and religion and politics, with contributions from such respected Lincoln scholars and political commentators as Harry Jaffa, Stephen Oates and Mark Neely.

“Abraham Lincoln is an enduring character both because of his tremendous accomplishments and his many contradictions and complexities both as a person and a president,” Fornieri adds. “It is my hope that this book will enhance our understanding of one of the central figures and one of the central events-the Civil War-in American history. The man and his times linger in our collective memory and continue to define us as a people.”

Fornieri is one of America’s foremost Lincoln scholars. This is the third book in his Lincoln series, which also includes Abraham Lincoln’s Political Faith and The Language of Liberty: The Political Speeches and Writings of Abraham Lincoln. Fornieri is also an expert in political theory and is currently completing a book on Jean Jacques Rousseau and St. Augustine, An Invitation to Political Thought, which will be published by Wadsworth.