Lincoln's Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union


Product Details

Belknap Press
Publish Date
6.03 X 8.93 X 1.01 inches | 1.18 pounds

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About the Author

Louis P. Masur is Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University.


Masur takes a pivotal moment in time and opens it up like a master watchmaker, revealing the intricate, hidden mechanisms, the tensions and balances, concealed within the most momentous decision that an American president has ever made. A finely wrought and important book.--Adam Goodheart, author of 1861: The Civil War Awakening
Masur has written a compelling, convincing page-turner about a dramatic period in history that too many Americans take for granted--the fraught hundred days between Lincoln's preliminary and final proclamations of freedom, when the fate of liberty itself hung in the balance. Here is superb scholarship and high drama combined into a rich and rewarding narrative.--Harold Holzer, author of Emancipating Lincoln
A stirring and penetrating account of those tense days between Lincoln's preliminary edict and the final Emancipation Proclamation. The story will keep the reader on the edge of his seat until the final pages.--James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom
A vital book about the meaning of the Civil War, and of America, brilliantly conceptualized, deeply researched, and elegantly written by one of the foremost scholars of the Civil War era. With fresh insights throughout, coupled with subtle and judicious syntheses, it should be read by anyone interested in America's past.--John Stauffer, author of Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln
When Lincoln published a preliminary proclamation on September 22, 1862, warning Confederate states of his intention to issue a final edict on January 1, he did not realize that those two dates stood precisely one hundred days apart. Louis Masur's Lincoln's Hundred Days focuses on that crucial period, but it starts more than a year earlier to set the stage for those hundred days, and follows up with the aftermath and consequences of Lincoln's historic action. Masur...argue[s] persuasively that the progression of events during that critical autumn of the war were full of contingencies and that the final outcome was by no means certain... Provide[s] detailed and careful renderings of these events and of Lincoln's intellectual journey.--James M. McPherson "New York Review of Books" (11/22/2012 12:00:00 AM)
Among the strengths of Masur's book is its account of how the war changed minds--from enlisted and conscripted men to those directing the war--by introducing 'slavery to soldiers as a reality, not as an abstraction.'--Andrew Delbanco "New Republic" (8/19/2013 12:00:00 AM)
[A] splendid book.--Ed Voves "California Literary Review" (10/25/2012 12:00:00 AM)
A moving, accessible portrayal of Lincoln as a deeply humble, strangely physical presence who spoke in oracular parables.-- "Kirkus Reviews" (8/1/2012 12:00:00 AM)
A lucid and learned account of the process whereby Lincoln moved toward emancipation, and once so committed, made it the lodestar of the Union... Masur makes much of the importance blacks attributed to the document as their Declaration of Independence and the importance of black soldiers in giving it force... This is now the best work on the proclamation. As its sesquicentennial looms (January 2013), all persons wanting to understand the contingency of freedom should read this book.--Randall M. Miller "Library Journal (starred review)" (8/1/2012 12:00:00 AM)
Masur delivers an intelligent account of how Lincoln balanced politics with the goal of ending slavery... Readers will enjoy his rich, perceptive history of the passionate maneuvering that produced it.-- "Publishers Weekly" (7/23/2012 12:00:00 AM)