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Extended Audio Sample The Age of Lincoln, by Orville Vernon Burton Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (82 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Orville Vernon Burton Narrator: Rich Mock Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Distinguished historian Orville Vernon Burton suggests that, while abolishing slavery was the age's most extraordinary accomplishment, it was the inscribing of personal liberty into the nation's millennial aspirations that was its most profound.

America had always perceived providence in its progress, but in the 1840s and 1850s, a pessimism accompanied a marked extremism. Even amidst historic political compromises, the middle ground collapsed.

Burton shows how the president's authentic Southerness empowered him to conduct a civil war that redefined freedom as a personal right to be expanded to all Americans. In the violent decades to follow, while the extent of that freedom would be contested, its centrality to the definition of the country would not.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Age of Lincoln offers a major reinterpretation of nineteenth-century American history from the age of Jackson to the Progressive era. Professor Burton portrays Lincoln as a product of his time and the Southern yeoman culture in which he grew up; and in turn he shows how Lincoln’s ideas, so essential for Northern victory in the war, affected the way Americans defined themselves in the postwar generation. Filled with fresh insights, The Age of Lincoln should open a new era in Civil War-Reconstruction scholarship.”

    David Herbert Donald, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Lincoln

  • “Vernon Burton offers a bold new synthesis of the Civil War era in The Age of Lincoln. He shows how the ferment of religious reform merged with the dynamism of free-labor capitalism to forge a Northern political culture that triumphed over the South and slavery.”

    Jim McPherson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom

  • “In magisterial fashion Vernon Burton’s The Age of Lincoln covers the broad panorama of the American nation’s most perilous years…Especially striking is his treatment of the Reconstruction South when the victor’s bi-racial, ‘national building’ experiment failed, a situation analogous to the current sectarian strife in Iraq.”

    Bertram Whatt-Brown, professor emeritus of history, University of Florida

  • “Burton’s intriguing thesis is that Lincoln's most profound achievement was not the abolition of slavery but the enshrinement of the principle of personal liberty protected by a body of law…For readers seeking to comprehend the sweeping social, religious and cultural backdrop to the Civil War, Burton’s book is a worthy heir to Schlesinger’s [The Age of Jackson].”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[Chronicles] in compelling detail the process of secession, the conduct of events in the course of the Civil War itself, and acts of reconstruction…the book captures in excellent prose the early decades of modern American history.”


Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kevin | 4/18/2013

    " Again an excellent book. It is interesting to see the societal issues and forces at play during Lincoln's life. It just goes to show that (1) some things don't change and (2) the importance from learning from history so that we don't repeat the same mistakes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Carol Buchanan | 2/10/2013

    " A book I use for reference whenever I want to understand the background for the stories I write about Civil War Montana. Very useful, informative, and fascinating to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Amy | 9/10/2012

    " Interesting history of Lincoln's time in this world; sometimes too dry "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Cameron | 4/22/2012

    " I thought this book was excellent. I learned a lot about an era of US history that I wasn't very strong, and the writing style, coherence of the narrative, and pace made it a pleasure to read. Don't start the chapters on the Civil War right before trying to go to bed! "

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