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David Herbert Donald

David Herbert Donald

The Best 11 Books on David Herbert Donald

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Lincoln

A masterful work by Pulitzer Prize–winning author David Herbert Donald, Lincoln is a stunning portrait of Abraham Lincoln’s life and presidency.

Donald brilliantly depicts Lincoln’s gradual ascent from humble beginnings in rural Kentucky to the ever-expanding political circles in Illinois, and finally to the presidency of a country divided by civil war. Donald goes beyond biography, illuminating the gradual development of Lincoln’s character, chronicling his tremendous capacity for evolution and growth, thus illustrating what made it possible for a man so inexperienced and so unprepared for the presidency to become a great moral leader. In the most troubled of times, here was a man who led the country out of slavery and preserved a shattered Union—in short, one of the greatest presidents this country has ever seen.
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The Civil War and Reconstruction

Long considered the standard text in the field, The Civil War and Reconstruction―originally written by James G. Randall and revised by David Donald―is now available in a thoroughly revised new edition prepared by David Donald, Jean H. Baker, and Michael F. Holt.

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Why the North Won the Civil War

In this classic exploration of the Confederacy’s defeat in the Civil War, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner David Herbert Donald and author of Lincoln assembles insightful and probing essays from six of America’s most distinguished historians.

Focusing on the political, military, economic, social, and diplomatic reasons behind the Union victory, this collection presents the most complete picture of this key aspect of Civil War studies. In an essay new to this edition, Henry Steele Commager offers a historiographical overview of the collapse of the Confederacy. Richard N. Current describes the economic superiority of the North and shows how the civilian resources of the South were dissipated during the war. T. Harry Williams examines the deficiencies of the Southern military strategy and leadership. Norman A. Graebner discusses the reluctance of France and England to aid the South. David Herbert Donald, in his own essay, reports that excessive Southern emphasis on individual freedom fatally undermined military discipline. And David M. Potter suggests that a lack of political leadership in the South resulted in gross incompetence. And exclusively for this edition, the editor has written a new foreword and completely updated the bibliography to create the most comprehensive and enlightening guide to understanding why the North won the Civil War.
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Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe

Based on the papers of the Wolfe Estate, this biography reveals for the first time the personal life of the major American literary figure, Thomas Wolfe, and examines his relations with his editors, literary agents, and contemporary writers
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Lincoln Reconsidered: Essays on the Civil War Era

A “brilliant” look at America’s sixteenth president by the New York Times–bestselling, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Lincoln (American Historical Review).

First published in 1956 and revised and updated for the twenty-first century, Lincoln Reconsidered is a masterpiece of Civil War scholarship. In a dozen eloquent, witty, and incisive essays, the author of the definitive biography of Abraham Lincoln offers a fresh perspective on topics previously shrouded in myth and hagiography and brings the president’s tough-mindedness, strategic acumen, and political flexibility into sharp focus.

From Lincoln’s patchwork education to his contradictory interpretations of the Constitution and the legacy of the Founding Fathers, David Herbert Donald reveals the legal mind behind the legend of the Great Emancipator. “Toward a Reconsideration of the Abolitionists” sheds new light on the radicalism of the antislavery movement, while “Herndon and Mary Lincoln” brilliantly characterizes the complicated relationship between two of the president’s closest companions. “Getting Right with Lincoln” and “The Folklore Lincoln” draw on the methods of cultural anthropology to produce a provocative analysis of Lincoln as symbol.

No historian has done more to enhance our understanding of Lincoln’s presidency and the causes and effects of the Civil War than Donald. Lincoln Reconsidered is an entertaining and accessible introduction to his work and a must-read for every student of American history.
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Lincoln's Herndon: A Biography (A Da Capo paperback)

Occasionally a book that begins as a work of scholarship becomes a great and profoundly moving human document. This life of Lincoln's friend, law partner, and biographer is such a book. It has a two-fold focus: on the "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" days-the days of Lincoln's courting, arguing, and politicking; and on Herndon's long and wracking fight to publish his biography in the face of poverty, drive, and disillusionment, it achieves the impetus and grandeur of tragedy. David Donald has given us a magnificent account of how a country lawyer became a national figure and what happened to the friend he left behind when he became president. An impressive study of mythmakers and mythmaking, this biography of William Henry Herndon, a man intimately connected to movements for abolition of slavery, temperance, religious liberalism, currency reform, and women's rights is also a sweeping picture of America just before, during, and after the Civil War.
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Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War

The Puliter-Prize winning classic and national bestseller returns!

In this brilliant biography—a Pulitzer Prize—winning national bestseller—David Herbert Donald, Harvard professor emeritus, traces Sumner's life as the nation careens toward civil war. In a period when senators often exercised more influence than presidents, Senator Charles Sumner was one of the most powerful forces in the American government and remains one of the most controversial figures in American history. His uncompromising moral standards made him a lightning rod in an era fraught with conflict.

Sumner's fight to end slavery made him a hero in the North and stirred outrage in the South. In what has been called the first blow of the Civil War, he was physically attacked by a colleague on the Senate floor. Unwavering and arrogant, Sumner refused to abandon the moral high ground, even if doing so meant the onslaught of the nation's most destructive war. He used his office and influence to transform the United States during the most contentious and violent period in the nation's history.

Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War presents a remarkably different view of our bloodiest war through an insightful reevaluation of the man who stood at its center.

"A truly perceptive study."
American Heritage

"Few books can be recommended wholeheartedly to the specialist and the general reader alike. This one can."
New York Times Book Review

"[Full of] Donald's unparalleled knowledge and provocative interpretations."
James M. McPherson, New York Times Book Review

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Liberty and Union

A comprehensive analysis of the crisis of popular government during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras from a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize

In Liberty and Union, David Herbert Donald persuasively examines one of the most tumultuous periods in American history. With the same wit, eloquence, and willingness to question received wisdom that define his acclaimed biographies of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Sumner, Donald suggests that it was the commonalities between North and South—and not their differences—that led to the earth-shattering conflict that was the Civil War and defined the chaotic years that followed.

Exploring the political, social, and economic impact of the war, emancipation, Reconstruction, and westward expansion, Donald combines history and philosophy, offering a bold and thought-provoking analysis that goes far in explaining the nation we live in today. Riveting, illuminating, and provocative, Liberty and Union sheds a brilliant light on a half-century of US history and addresses a perennial problem of democratic societies all over the world: how to reconcile majority rule and minority rights.
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We Are Lincoln Men: Abraham Lincoln and His Friends

In this brilliant and illuminating portrait of our sixteenth president, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner David Herbert Donald examines the significance of friendship in Abraham Lincoln's life and the role it played in shaping his career and his presidency.

Though Abraham Lincoln had hundreds of acquaintances and dozens of admirers, he had almost no intimate friends. Behind his mask of affability and endless stream of humorous anecdotes, he maintained an inviolate reserve that only a few were ever able to penetrate.

Professor Donald's remarkable book offers a fresh way of looking at Abraham Lincoln, both as a man who needed friendship and as a leader who understood the importance of friendship in the management of men. Donald penetrates Lincoln's mysterious reserve to offer a new picture of the president's inner life and to explain his unsurpassed political skills.
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The Politics of Reconstruction, 1863-1867 (Contributions in Medical History,)

The Politics of Reconstruction, 1863-1867 (Contributions in Medical History,)
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Lincoln at Home: Two Glimpses of Abraham Lincoln's Family Life

As Lincoln led the nation into the Civil War, managing the Union was effort, issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, winning reelection in 1864, and planning the Reconstruction of the South, he also led a private life, defined by his close relationship with his wife and by his devotion to his children. Lincoln at Home offers a view into the life of family through their written correspondence.
With a brief account of their first years in the White House and the complete collection of all the known letters exchanged by Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, this elegant portrait defines the sixteenth president as a dedicated -- though often a desperately busy and distracted -- family man.
Lincoln at Home is an intimate and rare glimpse of the president as husband and father, a cheerful man pinned to the floor while playing with his children, and a desolate man struck down with grief at the death of his son. Beyond this, we are shown a personal side of the man who managed one of the most difficult periods in American history.
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