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Publisher's Summary

At the beginning of 1864, the Civil War was far from won; terrible and bloody Union setbacks and casualties lay ahead. Abraham Lincoln was facing a re-election battle as some northern Democrats were ready to start peace talks that could leave the Confederacy a separate slaveholding American nation and as his secretary of the treasury, Salmon P. Chase, challenged him for the Republican nomination. But by the end of the year, the war's end was in sight, and slavery was on the verge of extinction. Despite all the turmoil of war and political infighting, Lincoln also set the stage for a new era of westward expansion. He shaped the decades to come through laws and subsidies that propelled railroads westward, by the Homestead Act that offered western lands to immigrant farmers and by the Act to Encourage Immigration that enabled 615,000 men, women, and children to arrive in America during the Civil War.As the year ended, John Wilkes Booth, who stalked Lincoln throughout 1864, was only a few weeks away from assassinating our greatest president.
©2009 Charles Bracelen Flood; (P)2009 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"A brilliant, compelling account of Lincoln's dramatic final full year of life." (Publisher's Weekly)
"A compelling narrative.... Engagingly spun and well documented." (Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By David on 05-26-11

Terrific book, mediocre writing

The sometimes nagging deficiencies of Flood's stiff and repetitious prose style is more than compensated for by the richness and honesty of the portrait he gives us. The Lincoln we find here, presented with all the detail and color of thorough historical expertise and documentation, is such a protean and humanly complex force that the mediocre writing is of little consequence.

I found it fascinating to see Lincoln emerge simultaneously as a politician I would have undoubtedly condemned at the time as corrupt and ruthless, as a man I would have admired for his courage, kindness and humility, and as a leader of almost unparalleled vision, commitment and steadfastness.

Flood also spends a good deal of time describing the pivotal battles of 1864. Some readers with no interest in military history may find this tedious, but the accounts do provide a valuable context for the battle being fought at the same time for the will and judgement of the people who would, in November, vote for or against Lincoln's leadership.

If you have any interest in history, or if you just want to get to know an incredible American original with both his finest and his most troubling facets revealed, I highly recommend this book.

I do wish, however, that Mel Foster had looked up the pronunciation of "adjutant" before he made this recording.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By 9S on 12-03-09

A masterful and necessary book!

This is a masterful narrative about the drama surrounding Lincoln's final year. During this time Lincoln saw the last campaigns of the Civil War, was reelected president and formed his plans to put the country back together.

In 1864 Lincoln struggled with one bloody battle after another, growing war weariness, political opponents wanting to sue for peace with the south and his own secretary of the treasury, Salmon P. Chase, trying to become the Republican presidential candidate himself. Lincoln even wrote, in August 1864, " seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be reelected." But Lincoln got the cooperation of Grant, Sherman and other key generals to work towards success to ensure his reelection.

1864 shows us a man who not only saved this young nation, but also, despite a bloody war, put the nation on the path for westward expansion through the Homestead Act, the Act to Encourage Immigration and railroad construction.

There are many books about Lincoln, but Charles Bracelen Flood presents new, secondary information that is truly fascinating.

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17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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