And There Was Light, by Jon Meacham
- Author: Jon Meacham
Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and #1 New York Times bestselling author, chronicles the life of Abraham Lincoln, chronicling how, and why, he confronted the secession, threats to democracy, and the tragedy of slavery to expand the possibilities of America.
A president who watched over a divided nation has much to teach us in a twenty-first century moment of polarization and political crisis. Abraham Lincoln attracted love and hatred during a time when American power and secessionists gave no quarter in a clash of visions marred by money, race, identity, and faith. In Lincoln we can see the possibilities and limitations of the presidency.
Today, Lincoln is honored as one of the greatest American presidents, a politician driven more by calculation than by conviction. This startling new portrait shows us a very human Lincoln, an imperfect man whose moral antislavery commitment, essential to the story of justice in America, started as he grew up in an antislavery Baptist community, who insisted that slavery was a moral evil, and who sought, as he put it, to do right as God gave him to see the right.
This book tells the story of Lincoln from his birth on the Kentucky frontier in 1809 to his leadership during the Civil War to his tragic assassination in 1865: his rise, his self-education, his loves, his bouts of depression, his political failures, his deepening faith, and his persistent conviction that slavery must end. In a nation shaped by the courage of the enslaved of the era and by the brave witness of Black Americans, Lincoln’s story illustrates the ways and means of politics in a democracy, the roots and durability of racism, and the capacity of conscience to shape events.
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