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Why Lincoln Matters: Today More Than Ever
Synopses & Reviews
Abraham Lincoln became president on the brink of a terrible war, and he led our country through its darkest times. Challenged by slavery, secession, and war, Lincoln was able to articulate forcefully the values and ideals that have sustained our country since its inception. His speeches, writings, and actions melded the Constitution, the Bible, and his own experience into an American scripture that inspires faith in the future
Today, our country faces terrible challenges, a shadowy war, increasing inequality among our people, and a society with knife-sharp divisions--and there is a decided lack of vision in our country's leadership.
So Mario Cuomo, former governor of New York, and a gifted political philosopher, returns to Lincoln's words, his speeches and writings, to offer guidance for today's problems.
He shows how the big issues--equality, the role of government, war and peace, the responsibilities of the fortunate few--resonate in today's political climate as he brings to life the contemporary relevance of Lincoln's message for today's hot-button subjects. Cuomo's analysis of Abraham Lincoln will inspire readers to believe that government can still be a force for greater good in American society. And it offers us a liberal, generous, and responsible path for the future.
"Cuomo draws a devastating comparison between Lincoln's vision of the American ddemocracy and that of the George W. Bush administration." Walter Cronkite
"Cuomo, one of the most eloquent statesmen of our time, gives Abraham Lincoln reenewed eloquence and meaning for our time." Robert B. Reich
"A brilliant and nuanced tour de force." Alan Dershowitz
"A thoughtful and challenging meditation on what Lincoln's wisdom tells us we Ammericans should be doing today and tomorrow." Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
"Patriotic without being schmaltzy, Cuomo packs a high thought-per-page ratio into his book, which every concerned citizen should examine." Booklist
"[O]ne comes away from this book modestly educated about Lincoln, nicely uplifted by Cuomo's intentions, but confused about why, precisely, Lincoln should be our guide." Publishers Weekly
"Lively, lefty, and — at times — laughable." Kirkus Reviews
Book News Annotation:
Former New York Governor Cuomo describes how he thinks Abraham Lincoln would have reacted to the major issues of contemporary America. Much of it, as one might expect from the prominent Democratic political figure, amounts to an attack on the policies of the George W. Bush administration. After detailing the failings of the administration, he devotes specific chapters to describing how Lincoln would view current issues of war, civil liberties, the role of government, economic opportunity, global interdependence, religion, the Supreme Court, and race. He also includes a hypothetical 2004 State of the Union address that Lincoln might have delivered.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Cuomo argues that in today's charged political climate, Abraham Lincoln--founding member of the Republican Party--would be hard-pressed to recognize the issues in the contemporary GOP.
Abraham Lincoln is surely the most revered President in our history. His words are American Scripture. And like scripture, Lincoln's words are quoted for good and for ill. Mario Cuomo, three-term Governor of New York, is one of the great orators of our day and a staunch liberal, will write the book that shows what a liberal Lincoln was, and how his political philosophy should work as progressive ideas in the 21st century.
He takes up all the important subjects for our political era, and shows where Lincoln stood on the issues. The outline includes chapters on
THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
THE RULE OF LAW
and, in light of the recent war in Iraq, he is adding a chapter on JUST WAR and what that really means.
In sum, a historical, political, clear, and strong revisiting of the greatest president in our history from a distinguished and energetic public figure.
Abraham Lincoln, long the most resonant voice of American political values, was a founding member of the Republican Party. In today's charged political climate, he would be hard-pressed to recognize the issues in the contemporary GOP, argues Mario Cuomo, former governor of New York and a gifted political philosopher.
Challenged by slavery, secession, and war, Lincoln was able to forcefully articulate the values and ideals that have sustained our country since its inception. His speeches, writings, and actions melded the Constitution, the Bible, and his own experience into an American scripture that inspires faith in the future
Mario Cuomo shows how the big issues - equality, the role of government, war and peace, the responsibilities of the fortunate few - resonate in today's political climate as he brings to life the contemporary relevance of Lincoln's message for today's hot-button issues. Today's political discourse often lacks depth and wisdom, but Mario Cuomo's analysis of Abraham Lincoln will inspire readers to believe that government can still be a force for greater good in American society.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR Why Lincoln Matters:
"In this brilliant presentation Mario Cuomo draws a devastating comparison between Lincoln's vision of the American democracy and that of the George W. Bush administration. I was enthralled by the book."
-- Walter Cronkite
"When our President sounds like a 19th century fundamentalist preacher, the words of our greatest 19th century President, Abraham Lincoln, are ever more relevant to our crises in the 21st century. Mario Cuomo tells us how this great wartime leader might have addressed the war on terrorism. A brilliant and nuanced tour de force."
-- Alan Dershowitz, author of The Case for Israel
"Mario Cuomo is at home in the world of ideas as well as in the world of politics, and he is a long-time Lincoln scholar. WHY LINCOLN MATTERS is a thoughtful and challenging meditation on what Lincoln's wisdom tells us we Americans should be doing today and tomorrow."
-- Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
"Abraham Lincoln's words and acts remain relevant and essential as a panacea for today's challenges at home and abroad. This is a stand up book written by one of America's great leaders."
— Frank Williams, Chief Justice, Rhode Island Supreme Court and chair of the Lincoln Forum
About the Author
Mario M. Cuomo served three terms as governor of the state of New York. A New York City native, he attended St. John's University for his B.A. and his LL.B. The author of several books, he is now partner at the law firm Willkie, Farr & Gallagher. He lives in New York.
Table of Contents
LINCOLN AS POLITICAL SCRIPTURE
LINCOLN'S WISDOM FOR TODAY
TODAY'S AMERICA: AN UNFINISHED WORK
AMERICA'S GLOBAL ROLE
TOWARD A BETTER AMERICA
WHAT WOULD LINCOLN SAY?
The Role of Government
The Supreme Court
"ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S" 2004 ADDRESS TO CONGRESS
What Our Readers Are Saying