Rich Lowry’s Lincoln Unbound

Today at Public Discourse, I review Rich Lowry’s fine new book on Abraham Lincoln:

As Rich Lowry shows in his new book Lincoln Unbound: How an Ambitious Young Railsplitter Saved the American Dream—And How We Can Do It Again, our sixteenth president was in many respects the very embodiment, in his own life, of the potentialities of freedom that the founders sought to unleash. It was the immense, wide-open promise of the country in which he was born, I take Lowry to mean, that “unbound” Abraham Lincoln and enabled him to rise from the humblest origins to the highest magistracy in the land.

This compact and lively book is a labor of love. Lowry has absorbed great quantities of the seemingly bottomless Lincoln literature; he knows the primary sources extremely well; and he has a fine ability to set Lincoln in historical context, helping readers understand his subject as he responded to the circumstances and issues of his own time. The resulting narrative tells us a lot about how Lowry views his country, as we see what he particularly admires about Lincoln’s life and legacy.

Read the rest here.

Matthew J. Franck — Matthew J. Franck is the Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey. He ...