The Flannery O'Connor Library

St. Pius X Catholic High School

Wrestling with his angel

973.7 BLU

browse shelf >>

Wrestling with his angel : the political life of Abraham Lincoln

Blumenthal, Sidney, 1948-, author.

New York : Simon & Schuster, 2017.

xx, 581 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.

Login to rate this title or write a review

"Volume II of Sidney Blumenthal's acclaimed, landmark biography, The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, reveals the future president's genius during the most decisive period of his political life when he seizes the moment, finds his voice, and helps create a new political party. In 1849, Abraham Lincoln seems condemned to political isolation and defeat. His Whig Party is broken in the 1852 election, and disintegrates. His perennial rival, Stephen Douglas, forges an alliance with the Southern senators and Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. Violent struggle breaks out on the plains of Kansas, a prelude to the Civil War. Lincoln rises to the occasion. Only he can take on Douglas in Illinois, and he finally delivers the dramatic speech that leaves observers stunned. In 1855, he makes a race for the Senate, which he loses when he throws his support to a rival to prevent the election of a proslavery candidate. Now, in Wrestling With His Angel, Sidney Blumenthal explains how Lincoln and his friends operate behind the scenes to destroy the anti-immigrant party in Illinois to clear the way for a new Republican Party. Lincoln takes command and writes its first platform and vaults onto the national stage as the leader of a party that will launch him to the presidency" -- provided by publisher.



1 copy available at St. Pius X Catholic High School

Editorial Reviews

Review by Publishers Weekly.
In the second volume of his four-part Lincoln biography, Blumenthal (A Self-Made Man) immerses the reader in American politics in the years between Lincoln's return to Springfield, after completing his term in the House of Representatives, and his contribute tofounding the Illinois Republican Party. Lincoln himself spends a significant amount of time offstage, and long sections of the book pass without a mention of the president-to-be. Despite this, Blumenthal justifies this volume's length with a granular examination of the state of American politics in a period that he believes is essential to understanding Lincoln's "presence in the transforming events that would eventually carry him to the presidency and their profound influence upon him." The developments during these seven years were certainly significant-for example, the election of antislavery President Zachary Taylor, the Compromise of 1850, the Dred Scott decision, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act-even if their part in waking Lincoln "from his political slumber" is less known than earlier and later influences upon him. That relative obscurity justifies Blumenthal's prodigious amount of detail, which he conveys accessibly, while making his case that the Civil War was not simply a calamity into which the country haplessly blundered. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Review by Library Journal.
In this second volume on Abraham -Lincoln's political life, Blumenthal (A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln. Vol. I: 1809-1849) delves into the personalities, partisanship, and policies that led to the collapse of the Whig party and the rise of Republicans, as the issue of slavery consumed the country. This is life-and-times political history at its best, in which Blumenthal reviews party interests to explain how personal ambition determined "friendships" and defined priorities. Lincoln (1809-65) is not brought to center stage until after Blumenthal provides context for the failure of the Compromise of 1850, reactions to the Fugitive Slave Act, the breakup of parties following the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the power of longtime rival Stephen A. Douglas. If the author sometimes loses Lincoln in his detailed descriptions of other political leaders, he is able to shed light on his subject's pragmatism and moral clarity-especially the unyielding belief that the principles of equality in the U.S. Declaration of Independence remain the anchor of the Republic. By Blumenthal's reckoning, that principle guided Lincoln's endeavors thereafter. VERDICT This essential analysis of Lincoln, the lawyer, as integral to understanding Lincoln, the politician, makes for compelling reading and includes brilliant dissections of the president's speeches.- Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Google Books Preview