A captivating look at
how Abraham Lincoln evolved into one of our seminal foreign-policy
presidents—and helped point the way to America’s rise to world power.
This is the story of one of the most breathtaking feats in
the annals of American foreign policy—performed by one of the most unlikely
figures. Abraham Lincoln is not often remembered as a great foreign-policy president.
He had never traveled overseas and spoke no foreign languages. And yet, during
the Civil War, Lincoln and his team skillfully managed to stare down the continent’s
great powers—deftly avoiding European intervention on the side of the
Confederacy. In the process, the United States emerged as a world power in its
Engaging, insightful, and highly original, Lincoln in the World is a tale set at
the intersection of personal character and national power. The narrative
focuses tightly on five distinct, intensely human conflicts that helped define
Lincoln’s approach to foreign affairs—from his debate, as a young congressman,
with his law partner over the conduct of the Mexican War, to his deadlock with
Napoleon III over the French occupation of Mexico. Bursting with colorful
characters like Lincoln’s bowie-knife-wielding minister to Russia, Cassius
Marcellus Clay; the cunning French empress, Eugénie; and the hapless Mexican
monarch Maximilian—Lincoln in the World
draws a finely wrought portrait of a president and his team at the dawn of
In the age of Lincoln, we see shadows of our own world. The
international arena in the 1860s could be a merciless moral vacuum. Lincoln’s
times demanded the cold, realistic pursuit of national interest, and, in
important ways, resembled our own increasingly multipolar world. And yet, like
ours, Lincoln’s era was also an information age, a period of rapid
globalization. Steamships, telegraph wires, and proliferating new media were
transforming the world. Global influence required the use of “soft power” as
well as hard.
Anchored by meticulous research into overlooked archives, Lincoln in the World reveals the
sixteenth president to be one of America’s indispensable diplomats—and a key
architect of America’s emergence as a global superpower. Much has been written
about how Lincoln saved the Union, but Lincoln in the World highlights the
lesser-known—yet equally vital—role he played on the world stage during those
tumultuous years of war and division.
Download and start listening now!