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Loathing Lincoln : An American Tradition from the Civil War to the Present

By: Barr, John McKee.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War: Publisher: Baton Rouge : LSU Press, 2014Description: 1 online resource (488 p.).ISBN: 9780807153840.Subject(s): Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 -- Influence | Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 -- Public opinion | Presidents -- United States -- Public opinion -- History | Public opinion -- United States -- HistoryGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Loathing Lincoln : An American Tradition from the Civil War to the PresentDDC classification: 973.7092 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
COVER; CONTENTS; ACKNOWLEDGMENTS; Introduction; 1. Marked for Bitterness: The Civil War Era, 1858-1865; 2. Expressions of the Lips versus Those of the Heart: Postbellum Disgust, 1865-1889; 3. A New National Type: The Great Imperialist, 1890-1918; 4. The Self-Pity of the Defeated: Contesting "Lincolnolatry," 1918-1945; 5. An Infinitely Complicated Figure: Is Freedom Enough? 1945-1989; 6. A Litmus Test for American Conservatism: The Great Centralizer, 1989-2012; Conclusion; NOTES; BIBLIOGRAPHY; INDEX; A; B; C; D; E; F; G; H; I; J; K; L; M; N; O; P; Q; R; S; T; U; V; W; Y; Z
Summary: While most Americans count Abraham Lincoln among the most beloved and admired former presidents, a dedicated minority has long viewed him not only as the worst president in the country's history, but also as a criminal who defied the Constitution and advanced federal power and the idea of racial equality. In Loathing Lincoln, historian John McKee Barr surveys the broad array of criticisms about Abraham Lincoln that emerged when he stepped onto the national stage, expanded during the Civil War, and continued to evolve after his death and into the present. The first panoramic study of Lincoln's critics, Barr's work offers an analysis of Lincoln in historical memory and an examination of how his critics -- on both the right and left -- have frequently reflected the anxiety and discontent Americans felt about their lives. From northern abolitionists troubled by the slow pace of emancipation, to Confederates who condemned him as a "black Republican" and despot, to Americans who blamed him for the civil rights movement, to, more recently, libertarians who accuse him of trampling the Constitution and creating the modern welfare state, Lincoln's detractors have always been a vocal minority, but not one without influence.By meticulously exploring the most significant arguments against Lincoln, Barr traces the rise of the president's most strident critics and links most of them to a distinct right-wing or neo-Confederate political agenda. According to Barr, their hostility to a more egalitarian America and opposition to any use of federal power to bring about such goals led them to portray Lincoln as an imperialistic president who grossly overstepped the bounds of his office. In contrast, liberals criticized him for not doing enough to bring about emancipation or ensure lasting racial equality. Lincoln's conservative and libertarian foes, however, constituted the vast majority of his detractors. More recently, Lincoln's most vociferous critics have adamantly opposed Barack Obama and his policies, many of them referencing Lincoln in their attacks on the current president. In examining these individuals and groups, Barr's study provides a deeper understanding of American political life and the nation itself.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
E457.2 .B23 2014 (Browse shelf) http://uttyler.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=1575637 Available EBL1575637

COVER; CONTENTS; ACKNOWLEDGMENTS; Introduction; 1. Marked for Bitterness: The Civil War Era, 1858-1865; 2. Expressions of the Lips versus Those of the Heart: Postbellum Disgust, 1865-1889; 3. A New National Type: The Great Imperialist, 1890-1918; 4. The Self-Pity of the Defeated: Contesting "Lincolnolatry," 1918-1945; 5. An Infinitely Complicated Figure: Is Freedom Enough? 1945-1989; 6. A Litmus Test for American Conservatism: The Great Centralizer, 1989-2012; Conclusion; NOTES; BIBLIOGRAPHY; INDEX; A; B; C; D; E; F; G; H; I; J; K; L; M; N; O; P; Q; R; S; T; U; V; W; Y; Z

While most Americans count Abraham Lincoln among the most beloved and admired former presidents, a dedicated minority has long viewed him not only as the worst president in the country's history, but also as a criminal who defied the Constitution and advanced federal power and the idea of racial equality. In Loathing Lincoln, historian John McKee Barr surveys the broad array of criticisms about Abraham Lincoln that emerged when he stepped onto the national stage, expanded during the Civil War, and continued to evolve after his death and into the present. The first panoramic study of Lincoln's critics, Barr's work offers an analysis of Lincoln in historical memory and an examination of how his critics -- on both the right and left -- have frequently reflected the anxiety and discontent Americans felt about their lives. From northern abolitionists troubled by the slow pace of emancipation, to Confederates who condemned him as a "black Republican" and despot, to Americans who blamed him for the civil rights movement, to, more recently, libertarians who accuse him of trampling the Constitution and creating the modern welfare state, Lincoln's detractors have always been a vocal minority, but not one without influence.By meticulously exploring the most significant arguments against Lincoln, Barr traces the rise of the president's most strident critics and links most of them to a distinct right-wing or neo-Confederate political agenda. According to Barr, their hostility to a more egalitarian America and opposition to any use of federal power to bring about such goals led them to portray Lincoln as an imperialistic president who grossly overstepped the bounds of his office. In contrast, liberals criticized him for not doing enough to bring about emancipation or ensure lasting racial equality. Lincoln's conservative and libertarian foes, however, constituted the vast majority of his detractors. More recently, Lincoln's most vociferous critics have adamantly opposed Barack Obama and his policies, many of them referencing Lincoln in their attacks on the current president. In examining these individuals and groups, Barr's study provides a deeper understanding of American political life and the nation itself.

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Abraham Lincoln remains the idealized president for many Americans, but as Barr (Lone Star College, Kingwood) demonstrates, the 16th president has had more than his share of detractors. The wartime criticism and opposition to Lincoln is well documented, but Barr describes how in the century and a half since Lincoln's death, the image and reputation of the martyred president has been maligned and his actions blamed for a multitude of subsequent sins. Depending upon the motives and/or political viewpoint of the critic, Lincoln's attackers over the decades have accused him of bungling the Civil War, violating civil rights, acting like a dictator, promoting imperialism, and creating "big" and intrusive government. Liberal critics have even accused the Great Emancipator of not being a supporter of freeing the slaves and civil rights. To each of the chronologically based groupings of accusations, Barr provides a reasoned and supported counterpoint to each claim, often in sharp contrast to the heated rhetoric used by Lincoln's attackers. The result is an effective defense of one of the US's greatest heroes. --Steven J. Ramold, Eastern Michigan University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

<p>JOHN McKEE BARR is professor of history at Lone Star College--Kingwood.</p>

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