Saturday, March 25, 2017

Lincoln's Pathfinder

Yesterday, Dimitri Rotov was wondering about books on the 1856 election, if any good ones exist. I haven't looked into what's already out there, but John Bicknell's soon to be released Lincoln's Pathfinder: John C. Fremont and the Violent Election of 1856 (June '17, Chicago Review Pr) has been on my radar for a while, and I suspect that DR has seen it, too. I agree with Dimitri that 1856 holds points of interest more numerous than just a presidential election that established a blueprint for sectional party success four years later. For those seeking connections between 1856 and 1860, the fluffy, meandering book description of Lincoln's Pathfinder isn't much of an appetite builder, but you can never really trust those things anyway. The author does seem to enjoy framing elections as great national landscape-altering events [see also America 1844: Religious Fervor, Westward Expansion, and the Presidential Election That Transformed the Nation (2014)].

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