Sunday, March 5, 2006

"Mr. Lincoln Goes to War"

Thanks to Brian Dirck for mentioning an upcoming Lincoln book (Mr. Lincoln Goes to War) by William Marvel in his blog. Although I have only a limited familiarity with the entire range of Marvel's work, I think it's safe to say that Dirck need not worry that Marvel's level of scholarship or depth of thought will bear any resemblence to that of DiLorenzo, Bennett, or Tripp. Even so, the book's description sounds provocative to put it mildly.

While reading the Publisher's Weekly summary on Amazon, the following passage from it caught my eye:

"Focusing on the North's road to war in 1861, he (Marvel) argues that Abraham Lincoln made armed force a first choice, rather than a last resort, in addressing the Union's breakup. While conceding the complex problems Lincoln faced, and the corresponding limitations on his options, Marvel describes the president's course of action as "destructive and unimaginative.""

It is a subject worthy of close examination (and one you won't find treated seriously in any respectable Lincoln study that I know of). I am interested in seeing the development of Marvel's argument, but I guess it will have to wait until May.

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