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The fate of liberty : Abraham Lincoln and civil liberties / Mark E. Neely, Jr.

By: Neely, Mark E.
Contributor(s): Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana (Library of Congress).
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 1991Description: xvii, 278 p. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0195064968 (alk. paper); 9780195064964 (alk. paper); 0195080327 (pbk.); 9780195080322 (pbk.).Subject(s): Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 -- Views on civil rights | Habeas corpus -- United States -- History -- 19th century | Civil rights -- United States -- History -- 19th century | United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Law and legislation | Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 | Civil wars | United StatesDDC classification: 973.7/092 Other classification: 15.85 | 89.42 | NP 6020
Contents:
Actions without Precedent -- Missouri and Martial Law -- Low Tide for Liberty -- Arrests Move South -- The Dark Side of the Civil War -- Numbers and Definitions -- The Revival of International Law -- The Irrelevance of the Milligan Decision -- The Democratic Opposition -- Lincoln and the Constitution.
Awards: Pulitzer Prize, History, 1992.Review: "In the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Fate of Liberty, Mark Neely -- one of America's leading authorities on Lincoln -- explores the whole range of Lincoln's constitutional policies, examining his controversial restriction of civil liberties and the abuses of power that arose under martial law." "Neely depicts Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus as a well-intentioned attempt to deal with a floodtide of unforeseen events -- from the disintegrating public order in the border states to the outcry against the first draft in U.S. history. Drawing on letters from prisoners, records of military courts and federal prisons, memoirs, and federal archives, he paints a vivid picture of how Lincoln responded to these problems, how his policies were actually executed, and the virulent political debates that followed. Lincoln emerges from this account with his legendary statesmanship intact -- mindful of political realities and prone to temper the sentences of military courts, concerned not with persecuting his opponents but with prosecuting the war efficiently." "Written with keen insight and an intimate grasp of the original sources, The Fate of Liberty brings to life the crises and chaos of a nation at war with itself, changing our understanding of Lincoln and his most controversial policies. Book jacket."--BOOK JACKET.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
E457.2 .N46 1991 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001291111

Includes bibliographical references (p. 237-268) and indexes.

Pulitzer Prize, History, 1992.

Actions without Precedent -- Missouri and Martial Law -- Low Tide for Liberty -- Arrests Move South -- The Dark Side of the Civil War -- Numbers and Definitions -- The Revival of International Law -- The Irrelevance of the Milligan Decision -- The Democratic Opposition -- Lincoln and the Constitution.

"In the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Fate of Liberty, Mark Neely -- one of America's leading authorities on Lincoln -- explores the whole range of Lincoln's constitutional policies, examining his controversial restriction of civil liberties and the abuses of power that arose under martial law." "Neely depicts Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus as a well-intentioned attempt to deal with a floodtide of unforeseen events -- from the disintegrating public order in the border states to the outcry against the first draft in U.S. history. Drawing on letters from prisoners, records of military courts and federal prisons, memoirs, and federal archives, he paints a vivid picture of how Lincoln responded to these problems, how his policies were actually executed, and the virulent political debates that followed. Lincoln emerges from this account with his legendary statesmanship intact -- mindful of political realities and prone to temper the sentences of military courts, concerned not with persecuting his opponents but with prosecuting the war efficiently." "Written with keen insight and an intimate grasp of the original sources, The Fate of Liberty brings to life the crises and chaos of a nation at war with itself, changing our understanding of Lincoln and his most controversial policies. Book jacket."--BOOK JACKET.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Neely, director of the Lincoln Museum and author of several other books on Lincoln and the Civil War, has written a thorough and meticulously documented study of the causes and effects of Lincoln's suspension of the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War. He concludes that Lincoln acted out of the best of intentions and not simply to punish Democrats and Confederate sympathizers. Although probably many more civilians were arrested and detained than once assumed, Neely notes that these arrests were substantially less significant to the history of civil liberties than had previously been thought. Relatively few arrestees were true "political prisoners" and most were a more garden variety criminal such as corrupt military contractors, blockade runners, and draft dodgers. Yet, Neely notes the existence of various abuses under this regime including water torture to extract confessions and anti-Semitism among the officer corp. Perhaps most frightening to civil liberties is Neely's conclusion that "{{i}}f a situation were to arise again in the United States when the writ of habeas corpus were suspended, government would probably be as ill-prepared to define the legal situation as it was in 1861". This work is highlighted by more than 30 pages of well-researched endnotes, a comprehensive index, and an index of "prisoners of state." Highly recommended for public, college, and university libraries. -M. W. Bowers, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Mark E. Neely, Jr. is Director of the Lincoln Museum

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