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By Herman Belz

This extraordinary portrait of Abraham Lincoln present in this booklet is drawn fullyyt from the writing of his contemporaries and extends from his political beginnings in Springfield to his assassination. It finds a extra seriously beleaguered, much less godlike, and at last a richer Lincoln than has come via some of the biographies of Lincoln written at a distance after his loss of life. to people who are wide-spread basically with a few of the retouchedversions of Lincoln's existence, Abraham Lincoln: A Press Portrait can be a welcome-if occasionally surprising-addition to the literature surrounding the fellow who's maybe the primary determine in all of yankee background. The brutality, certainly that malignancy of a few of the therapy Lincoln bought by the hands of the clicking might surprise these readers who think the second one 1/2 the 20th century has a monopoly at the journalism of insult, outrage, and indignation. That Lincoln acted with the calm and readability he did lower than the barrage of such assaults can in simple terms increase his stature as one of many nice political leaders of any country at any time.

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This constitutionalism can be described as revolutionary in the sense that its principles and values emerged and were given institutional expression in the era of the American Revolution. In the historiography inspired by the affirmative action revolution, by contrast, the constitutionalism of the Civil War and Reconstruction is revolutionary in a substantive sense. It authorizes the exercise of unlimited national power to achieve unlimited, open-ended goals of liberty and equality. Civil War revolutionary constitutionalism, as the accounts of its recent historiographical expounders recognize, did not announce itself as such in explicit and unequivocal terms.

It exists as the obvious inference to be drawn from knowledge of the historical situationthe fact that slavery was the cause of the Civil War, emancipation was the aim of the war and a higher goal than preserving the Union, and the abolition of slavery and guaran- 18 Raymond T. Diamond, "No Call to Glory: Thurgood Marshall's Thesis on the Intent of a Pro-Slavery Constitution," Vanderbilt Law Review, 42 (1989), 93-131; Vincent Gordon Harding, "Wrestling Toward the Dawn: The Afro-American Freedom Movement and the Changing Constitution," Journal of American History, 74 (1987), 718-39.

Although the civil rights question was subordinated from the end of Reconstruction through the New Deal, it became an issue of great urgency in American politics and society after World War Two. Similarly, the issue of states' rights vs. national supremacy, although at one time thought to have been conclusively settled by the New Deal, has been revived in recent years as New Deal programs have come under attack. If states' rights is to become a fully legitimate and constructive concept in national politics, however, its advocates will have to show its theoretical and practical relationship to the rights of individuals.

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