Abraham Lincoln, Philosopher Statesman: Exploring the Political Brilliance of Abraham Lincoln (Hardback)
  • Abraham Lincoln, Philosopher Statesman: Exploring the Political Brilliance of Abraham Lincoln (Hardback)
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Abraham Lincoln, Philosopher Statesman: Exploring the Political Brilliance of Abraham Lincoln (Hardback)

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£37.50
Hardback 248 Pages / Published: 30/04/2014
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The political genius of Abraham Lincoln remains unequivocal. As a great leader, he saved the Union, presided over the end of slavery, and helped to pave the way for an interracial democracy. In his speeches and letters, he offered enduring wisdom about human equality, democracy, free labour, and free society. This rare combination of theory and practice in politics cemented Lincoln's legacy as one of the most talented statesmen in American history. Providing an accessible framework for understanding Lincoln's statesmanship, this thoughtful study examines Lincoln's political intellect in terms of the traditional moral vision of statecraft as understood by the political philosophers Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. The enduring wisdom and timeless teachings of these great thinkers, author Joseph R. Fornieri shows, can lead to a deeper appreciation of statesmanship and of its embodiment in Abraham Lincoln.

Statesmanship, Fornieri posits, is a moral greatness that stems from six virtues: wisdom, prudence, duty, magnanimity, rhetoric, and patriotism. Drawing on insights from history, politics, and philosophy, Fornieri tackles the question of how Lincoln evidenced each of these virtues. Through close textual analysis of Lincoln's speeches and writings and careful consideration of relevant secondary literature, Fornieri reveals Lincoln to be a philosopher statesman in whom political thought and action were united. Lincoln's character is best understood, he contends, in terms of Aquinas's understanding of magnanimity or greatness of soul, the crowning virtue of statesmanship. True political greatness, as evidenced by Lincoln, involves both humility and sacrifice for the common good.

With the great philosophers and books of western civilisation as his guide, Fornieri demonstrates the important contribution of normative political philosophy to an understanding of our sixteenth president. Informed by political theory that draws on the classics in revealing the timelessness of Lincoln's example, his interdisciplinary study offers profound insights for anyone interested in the nature of leadership, statesmanship, political ethics, political history, and constitutional law.

Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
ISBN: 9780809333295
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 549 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"In this wonderfully concise work on the politics of Lincoln, Joseph R. Fornieri performs to perfection the task of laying out the lines of Lincoln's politics, not only for his time but also in terms of the seven classical characteristics that make for 'greatness of soul.' Put away the treaclylittle handbooks that promise to deliver Lincoln's 'leadership secrets'--here is the real stuff of Lincoln's statesmanship."--Allen C. Guelzo, author of Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction

"By bringing the insights of political philosophy to bear on the study of Abraham Lincoln, Fornieri enriches our understanding of what made the sixteenth president not only a great politician but also a great statesman. Rejecting the cynical notion that a seasoned political operator cannot also be a principled idealist, Fornieri shows that what made Lincoln great was that he was both. Clearly written and passionately argued, this is a book from which scholars can learn but that general readers can enjoy."--James Oakes, author of Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States

"Viewing Lincoln through the lens of political philosophy, Fornieri convincingly shows how the sixteenth president piloted the ship of state prudently between the Scylla of utopian perfectionism and the Charybdis of mere cynical shrewdness."--Michael Burlingame, Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies, University of Illinois Springfield

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