‘Lincoln’s monumental life was all about becoming,” announces William W. Freehling in his new biography of the 16th president. By becoming, Freehling means that there was never a single, steadfast Lincoln, always carrying around in his back pocket the principles and plans that eventually became the Emancipation Proclamation. Freehling’s Lincoln is a changeling, looking all through his life for the wave (whether political, economic, or professional) that would finally bring him to a successful shore.
This way of interpreting Abraham Lincoln has a strong kinship with the Progressive biographers of Lincoln, from Albert Beveridge to Eric Foner, who have expressed
Something to Consider
If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going.