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Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Bible Study & Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > New Testament > 0195080327
  1. The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties
    The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties
    The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties
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  2. The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (10 reviews)
    Price R414.00

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If Abraham Lincoln was known as the Great Emancipator, he was also the only president to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. Indeed, Lincoln's record on the Constitution and individual rights has fueled a century of debate, from charges that Democrats were singled out for harrassment to Gore Vidal's depiction of Lincoln as an "absolute dictator." Now, in the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Fate of Liberty, one of America's leading authorities on Lincoln wades straight into this controversy, showing just who was jailed and why, even as he explores the whole range of Lincoln's constitutional policies.
Mark Neely depicts Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus as a well-intentioned attempt to deal with a floodtide of unforeseen events: the threat to Washington as Maryland flirted with secession, disintegrating public order in the border states, corruption among military contractors, the occupation of hostile Confederate territory, contraband trade with the South, and the outcry against the first draft in U.S. history. Drawing on letters from prisoners, records of military courts and federal prisons, memoirs, and federal archives, he paints a vivid picture of how Lincoln responded to these problems, how his policies were actually executed, and the virulent political debates that followed. Lincoln emerges from this account with this legendary statesmanship intact--mindful of political realities and prone to temper the sentences of military courts, concerned not with persecuting his opponents but with prosecuting the war efficiently. In addition, Neely explores the abuses of power under the regime of martial law: the routine torture of suspected deserters, widespread antisemitism among Union generals and officials, the common practice of seizing civilian hostages. He finds that though the system of military justice was flawed, it suffered less from merciless zeal, or political partisanship, than from inefficiency and the friction and complexities of modern war.
Informed by a deep understanding of a unique period in American history, this incisive book takes a comprehensive look at the issues of civil liberties during Lincoln's administration, placing them firmly in the political context of the time. Written with keen insight and an intimate grasp of the original sources, The Fate of Liberty offers a vivid picture of the crises and chaos of a nation at war with itself, changing our understanding of this president and his most controversial policies.

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Mark E. Neely
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Neely gives an excellent and detailed review of how civil liberties suffered during the War Between the States. The right of habeas corpus is Neely's main concern, but trials by military commissons and international law are covered among other topics.
If you're not a Civil War buff, this book may seem pretty dry. For example, a lot of space is devoted to evaluating the various claims of how many military prisoners there were. While this is important historical data, it made my eyes glaze over and prompted me to skim several sections of the book.
Given the post-9/11 discussions of military tribunals and other curtailments of the Bill of Rights, this book is more relevant than ever.
This book gives an excellent look into the policies of the Lincoln administration and the effects of these policies on civil liberties in the United States. A common misconception regarding this subject is that the majority of those arrested as a result of the suspension of habeas corpus were political enemies of Lincoln. This book, however, demonstrates how many of the arrests were not based upon politics, but upon how the crimes committed affected the war effort. Most attention in the past has focused on a few famous cases such as Clement Vallandingham, but this book shows that this case was an exception to the rule.
A must-read for anyone interested in the Civil War or Abraham Lincoln. Neely also writes in a clear prose that clearly explains his points and allows the reader to understand what he is talking about even without having an extensive knowledge of Lincoln or the Civil War.
"The Fate of Liberty" involves an aspect of the Civil War rarely addressed, that of the state of civil liberties. The turmoil existing in Border and Northern states led President Lincoln and many military commanders to suspend normal legal procedures through the imposition of martial law and suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus, the procedure under which prisoners have the right to compel their wardens to prove a legal basis for the incarceration. The unprecedented circumstances forced men to do what they would not otherwise do. Did it make sense to protect the right to free speech of the encouragers of draft resistance while the soldiers faced enemy shot? Must a saboteur roam free until he does his damage? Were mere political enemies locked up to stifle opposition? What was the status of slaves and who could decide their use and ownership and when? These are among the questions author Mark Neely raises and attempts to answer.

This book is researched in great... Read more
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