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Extended Audio Sample A Just and Generous Nation: Abraham Lincoln and the Fight for American Opportunity, by Harold Holzer, Norton Garfinkle Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Harold Holzer, Norton Garfinkle Narrator: Barry Pres Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In A Just and Generous Nation, the eminent historian Harold Holzer and the noted economist Norton Garfinkle present a groundbreaking new account of the beliefs that inspired our sixteenth president to go to war when the Southern states seceded from the Union. Rather than a commitment to eradicating slavery or a defense of the Union, they argue that Lincoln’s guiding principle was the defense of equal economic opportunity.

Lincoln firmly believed that the government’s primary role was to ensure that all Americans had the opportunity to better their station in life. As president, he worked tirelessly to enshrine this ideal within the federal government. He funded railroads and canals, supported education, and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which opened the door for former slaves to join white Americans in striving for self-improvement. In our own age of unprecedented inequality, A Just and Generous Nation reestablishes Lincoln’s legacy as the protector not just of personal freedom but of the American dream itself.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Lincoln’s legacy includes not only the preservation of the Union and the abolition of slavery, but also the use of government to promote economic opportunity and upward mobility for all Americans. As the authors of this eye-opening study convincingly demonstrate, the modern Republican party has repudiated this legacy by embracing policies that have promoted increasing inequality and a society that closes off opportunity.”

    James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom

  • “Holzer and Garfinkle have written a stimulating book. They describe convincingly Lincoln’s core conviction that government must foster equal opportunity in order to build and sustain a strong middle class. With clarity and passion, they show Lincoln the pragmatist working toward that end.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “The authors maintain that the overriding factor behind Lincoln’s response to the secession of the Southern states was his commitment to pursuing ‘economic opportunity for the widest possible circle of hardworking Americans’…The thesis is sure to be controversial, but Holzer and Garfinkle make their point well.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Will generate much-needed debate on the history, efficacy, and morality of government’s role and responsibility in shaping an economy of fairness and growth. The future of America depends on that question.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Compelling…A well-honed work of driving focus, particularly timely in this new era of economic inequality.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
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About the Author
Author Harold Holzer

Harold Holzer has authored, coauthored, and edited more than thirty books on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. He serves as chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, and is a Roger Hertog Fellow at the New York Historical Society. Currently he is senior vice president for external affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and lives in Rye, New York.

About the Narrator

Barry Press has been an active professional actor, director, and teacher for over thirty-five years. He has performed off Broadway and at numerous regional theaters from Alaska to Florida. He is founder and artistic director of Living Literature, a Rhode Island–based literacy program.