The Real Lincoln

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Rosenthal 1
Ben Rosenthal
Professor Harling
History 132
22 October 2008
Critique on The Real Lincoln
“The Real Lincoln contains undeniable evidence that a more appropriate title for Abraham Lincoln is not the Great Emancipator, but the Great Centralizer.” - Walter E. Williams.
This is the book that made it happen: the nationwide revision concerning the man who they tried to tell us was a great liberator. Dictator and slayer of liberty is more like it. Lincoln was not the godlike figure of myth and legend but an unusually cruel political operator who exploited the moment for personal gain, just as we've come to expect of modern politicians.

The Real Lincoln, argues that, throughout his decades-long political career, Lincoln's primary political goal was the creation of a more mercantilist centralized American state through the enactment of a series of three policy initiatives popularized as “the American System” by Kentucky politician and slaveholder Henry Clay. “I am humble Abraham Lincoln. I have been solicited by my friends to become a candidate for the legislature,” Lincoln stated in 1832. “My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman's dance. I am in favor of a national favor of internal improvements system and a high protective tariff.”

Through extensive research DiLorenzo portrays the sixteenth president as a man who devoted his political career to revolutionizing the American form of government from one that was very limited in scope and highly decentralized as the Founding Fathers intended to a highly centralized, activist state. Standing in his way was the South with its independent states, its resistance to the national government, and its reliance on unfettered free trade. To accomplish his goals, Lincoln subverted the Rosenthal 2

Constitution, trampled states' rights, and launched a devastating Civil War, whose wounds haunt us still. According to this provocative book, 600,000 American soldiers did not die for the...
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