Act of Justice: Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the Law of War (Hardback)
  • Act of Justice: Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the Law of War (Hardback)
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Act of Justice: Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the Law of War (Hardback)

(author)
£64.95
Hardback 208 Pages / Published: 21/09/2007
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In his first inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln declared that as president he would ""have no lawful right"" to interfere with the institution of slavery. Yet less than two years later, he issued a proclamation intended to free all slaves throughout the Confederate states. When critics challenged the constitutional soundness of the act, Lincoln asserted that he was endowed ""with the law of war in time of war."" In ""Act of Justice"", Burrus M. Carnahan contends Lincoln was no reluctant emancipator; he wrote a truly radical document that treated Confederate slaves as an oppressed people rather than merely as enemy property. In this respect, Lincoln's proclamation anticipated the intellectual warfare tactics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 9780813124636
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 472 g
Dimensions: 235 x 161 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Carnahan reinforces the idea that Lincoln was bound by the Constitution and the legal demands of due process, and the emancipation of the slaves depended as much upon what the law permitted Lincoln to do as what he wished to do. The result is a clear legal analysis of a president dealing with a shifting political and military landscape, achieving what he could within the bounds of his situation." -- Choice


"[Carnahan's] worthy study reminds us of current controversies involving human rights and the usage of presidential power. In that sense his historical foray into international law is quite timely and thought-provoking." -- Civil War Book Review


" Act of Justice is an important contribution to the literature surrounding this influential document [Emancipation Proclamation]." -- Journal of Southern History


"While this is an academic book, those interested in information on the famous Emancipation Proclamation will enjoy learning how it came about meticulously." -- www.curledup.com


"Carnahan shows us how a president can act audaciously and lawfully, at the same time. His book offers potential lessons for our own time." -- Law and Politics Book Review


"With excellent use of notes and appendices, Carnahan's study is clear, concise, and compelling. He adds immeasurably to Civil War historiography and Emancipation Proclamation scholarship." -- H-Net Reviews


"This book is highly recommended to those interested in the Civil War, slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation and in Abraham Lincoln." -- Oklahoman


"Carnahan's patient re-creation of the legal context of the proclamation, and Lincoln's legal craft in composing it, deal a powerful blow to the hit-and-run dismissals of Lincoln as a 'racist' and a 'half-heart' who was 'forced into glory. The more we learn, through Carnahan, of the nineteenth century's 'laws of war' and Lincoln's radical prudence in interpreting them, the greater Lincoln stands as a presidential commander-in-chief and an Emancipator.... An important contribution to the literature surrounding this influential document." -- Allen C. Guelzo, Gettysburg College


"With the war powers of the President once again under review, it is refreshing and helpful to see these important issues in context. Burrus M. Carnahan's outstanding work does this and more. The author demonstrates the strength and political courage of Abraham Lincoln and his willingness to take major risks" -- Frank J. Williams, Chief Justice, Rhode Island Supreme Court


"A worthy addition to academic and large public libraries, especially given current attention to presidential use of war powers." -- Library Journal


" Act of Justice is a valuable resource for scholars wanting to understand better the historical precedent for military emancipation and its legality under the laws of war." -- Ohio Valley History


"The book is short, just 142 pages of main text, but the author included a valuable six-part appendix consisting of important primary materials the reader will find satisfying. Scholars of the Civil War, as well as military history in general, will gain much from Act of Justice." -- American Graduate


"This fine book demonstrates... that in our day, a great power must wait until a people want freedom before trying to impose it upon them." -- Journal of American Cultures


"Carnahan skillfully shows the interaction among developments on the battlefield, principles of constitutional and international law, and political prudence, to demonstrate just how carefully and thoughtfully Lincoln maneuvered toward emancipation." -- Lincoln Herald


"Carnahan has taken the creation, context, and impact of the Proclamation to new depths of analysis, utilizing primary and secondary sources, while simultaneously creating an interesting and highly readable book. It is a work that demands its readers to consider their previous notions of how and why Lincoln issued the Proclamation, and establishes itself as a major contribution to the study of Lincoln and Civil War historiography." -- Historian

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