In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

BOOK REVIEWS247 Hayes was a saver. His correspondence, diaries, and supportive materials are convenientiy held in the Hayes Memorial Library in Fremont, Ohio. Given this penchant for saving the stuff of history, one is surprised to find no mention of his presidency (1892-93) of die infant Ohio Historical Society. A more central facet of his post-presidential years, however, was the leadership he gave to educational reform. Hoogenboom has it right: among presidents since Hayes, only Jimmy Carter has been involved in as many constructive social programs. Throughout his life, Hayes was sustained by die love and friendship ofthose close to him. Conspicuous among diem were his mother, Sophia; his sister Fanny; his uncle Sardis Birchard (a surrogate father); and his wife, Lucy. Theirs was a major contribution to the emotional stability that marked his life. Hayes survived five Civil War wounds, none of them life-threatening, and he repeatedly won close elections, facts diat led people to refer to "Hayes' luck." Perhaps his luck will hold as this thorough, insightful, and fair-minded book earns for Hayes the enhanced reputation that is his due. George W. Knepper The University of Akron The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln. By Michael BurUngame. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994. Pp. 380. $29.95.) Rather dian a straight, chronological biography, The Inner World ofAbraham Lincoln presents chapters on a variety of interconnected subjects that, when taken together, are meant to add depth to traditional studies of die sixteenth president. Drawing on the psychological theories of Daniel J. Levinson, Carl Jung, and Harold Lasswell, Michael BurUngame attempts to reveal the "inner world" of die sixteenth president. Not only die author's method, but also his sources and conclusions make this a controversial book. While BurUngame does not provide die last word on Lincoln's personality, his efforts to keep his study rooted in historical reaUty may win him a more serious hearing among Lincoln historians than previous Lincoln psychohistories . BurUngame's weU-written text reveals a notable familiarity with primary and secondary sources. Besides standard sources on Lincoln and his associates, the author uses reminiscences ofLincoln contained principally in die HerndonWeik collection, a source often viewed suspiciously by Lincoln scholars, and newspapers. The author duly notes die need to treat such sources gingerly. While marshaling every scrap of evidence to support his conclusions, BurUngame admits that he must at times leap beyond his sources to offer "informed guesses" about Lincoln's development (xiĆ¼). Exploring the psyche of one who revealed Uttle of himself to others in his own time must remain, to a certain extent, conjectural. 248CIVIL WAR HISTORY A Lincoln unfamiliar to many readers emerges from BurUngame's treatment of his sources. Lincoln's characteristics included an ambitious nature, a bad temper, a tendency to engage in low, personal attacks on his poUtical opponents in his early years, an inability to deal with women, a lack ofaffection toward his father and eldest son, bouts with depression, and an unhappy marriage to a jealous, ambitious, and mentally troubled woman. Most of these traits the author traces back to a traumatic and abusive childhood. The death of Lincoln's mother and other loved ones, including Ann Rutledge, caused his depressions of later years. Those losses also made it difficult for Lincoln to develop confident, loving relationships with women, and, along with the poverty of his youth, contributed to his driving ambition as an adult. The abuse Lincoln suffered from his father, both physical and intellectual, caused him to overindulge his own sons. The author also portrays Lincoln as a "father surrogate" to many who knew him (73). Mary Todd Lincoln, who was hurt when her father remarried after the death of her mother, found that quality attractive in him. BurUngame links these situations together, placing them at the center of his political development. While the author underscores the darker side of Lincoln's character, ultimately he portrays Lincoln favorably. According to BurUngame, Lincoln went through a "midlife crisis" in which he became a selfless leader rather than a petty poUtician (1). He focused his ambition on the worthy ideal of ending slavery. Lincoln may not have made it to the White House, says BurUngame...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 247-248
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.