From the author, Vernon Burton:

Welcome to TheAgeofLincoln.com. For more than a decade I have encouraged the use of the Internet to foster scholarship, and I hope this site contributes to that end. I intend it to be both a resource to readers of The Age of Lincoln and a starting point for anyone interested in the ideas, arguments, individuals, and events that appear within its pages. Following The Age of Lincoln’s publication, I will be updating and expanding the information and links you will encounter on this site. If you have any reactions to either the book or this site, I encourage you to contact me at vernonburton@ageoflincoln.com. Historical inquiry is an on-going endeavor, and these notes will continue to expand over the first year after publication.


From the publisher, Hill & Wang:

A Sweeping Retelling of Secession, Civil War, and Reconstruction


Stunning in its breadth and conclusions, The Age of Lincoln is a fiercely original history of the five decades that pivoted around the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Abolishing slavery, the age’s most extraordinary accomplishment, was not its most profound. The enduring legacy of the age was inscribing personal liberty into the nation’s millennial aspirations.


America has always perceived providence in its progress, but in the 1840s and 1850s a pessimism accompanied a marked extremism. With all sides claiming God’s blessing, irreconcilable freedoms collided; despite historic political compromises the middle ground collapsed. In a remarkable reappraisal of Lincoln, the distinguished historian Orville Vernon Burton shows how the president’s Southernness empowered him to conduct a civil war that redefined freedom as a personal right protected by the rule of law. In the violent decades that followed, the extent of that freedom would be contested by racism and unregulated capitalism, but not its central place in what defined the country.

Presenting a fresh conceptualization of the opening decades of modern America, The Age of Lincoln is narrative history of the highest order.


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The Age of Lincoln