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Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation

The End of Slavery in America


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 bland and lawyerlike language is unfavorably compared to the soaring eloquence of the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural; its effectiveness in freeing the slaves has been dismissed as a legal illusion. And for some African-Americans the Proclamation raises doubts about Lincoln himself.

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation dispels the myths and mistakes surrounding the Emancipation Proclamation and skillfully reconstructs how America's greatest president wrote the greatest American proclamation of freedom.

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Allen C. Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at
Gettysburg College, where he also directs the Civil War Era Studies Program and
The Gettysburg Semester. He is the author of Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer
(1999) and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of
Slavery in America
(2004), both of which won the Lincoln Prize. He has
written essays and reviews for The Washington Post, The Wall Street
, Time, the Journal of American History, and many other

"A brisk and elegant narrative that is likely to stand for some time as the definitive account of Lincoln's noblest achievement. . . . Guelzo's book succeeds in restoring emancipation to its historical context. . . . He has provided the best account to date of the political virtuosity and unswerving idealism that gave Lincoln his victory in the difficult battle to destroy slavery." -- Los Angeles Times

"Immediately takes its place not only as the newest study of emancipation, but far and away, the very best." -- Harold Holzer, Civil War Book Review

"Most if not all of the preceding works [on the Emancipation Proclamation] will now pale with the publication of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation by [this] highly respected Lincoln scholar . . . With this volume, decades of misunderstanding about Lincoln's most controversial action now give way to exactly what Lincoln's proclamation was, for then and for all times." -- Richmond Times-Dispatch

"The complex story of how the war to preserve the Union evolved into a war to give that Union 'a new birth of freedom' has been told many times -- but never so well." -- James M. McPherson

More books from this author: Allen C. Guelzo