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Lincoln’s War: The Untold Story of America’s Greatest President as Commander in Chief

by Geoffrey Perret

Random House

496, April

Hardcover, 35.00

ISBN: 0375507388

Drawing on newly discovered documents in the National Archives, Lincoln’s War is the only full-length account to date on Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief. For the first time, readers will see the war unfold as Lincoln saw it.

This wide-ranging account casts new light on Lincoln and his generals, his admirals, his controversial Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, and his outspoken confidant Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy. The reader will also learn the true story of Lincoln’s experience as a soldier and encounter Lincoln as amateur strategist, Lincoln in his relationship with black servicemen, Lincoln in his dealings with the Committee on the Conduct of the War, and Lincoln in his friendship with weapons pioneer Christopher Spencer, the creator of the Spencer repeater. And Lincoln’s War is filled with myriad illuminating anecdotes—including how the President, a frustrated inventor, liked to conduct his own hands-on weapons tests on waste ground near the White House.

It was Lincoln who, over the course of four years, created the role of Commander in Chief as we know it today. In doing so he saved the Union and changed the nation. This was the most important of his duties, and his greatest success. In Lincoln’s War, Geoffrey Perret—the acclaimed biographer of Ulysses S. Grant, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy, and the author of four well-received works of military history, including A Country Made by War—offers an original, vivid portrait of both a great leader and a tumultuous conflict.

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