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Evaluation of Abraham Lincoln’s Responsibility in Mcpherson’s Book, Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief

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Abraham Lincoln had several positions before he eventually became president of the United States of America, which is arguably the highest office in the land. In addition to these, Abraham Lincoln also managed to break a number of records, although some of these could not be envied – like becoming the first individual to hold a patent as well as being president together with becoming the initial president to be assassinated while holding office. There has been the documentation of variety of aspects, in relation to the life of Abraham Lincoln, with various historians, writers, as well as reporters seeking to offer different kinds of information about him, or making analysis of his life and style of leadership among other aspects. The primary aim of this historiography is to make an analysis of the underlying sources use to make the accounts by McPherson, together with how he is able to elucidate the facts.

Abraham Lincoln held positions that had responsibilities that were closely tied to his office as president. All his responsibilities called for his attention at different times. Despite this, Lincoln managed to achieve immense success, which could be measured through the results that he garnered. One of the major roles that Abraham held was that of commander in chief of the armed forces of the United States of America. This position called for a lot of intelligent at the war front, together with tactical tenacity that in necessary to overcome all the enemies. Moreover, most of the wars that Abraham was engaged in were against people who were citizens that were seeking to break away from the united federation (McPherson, 2009).

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In this analysis, the main aim is to examine the manner in which the role of Abraham Lincoln is brought out as the commander in chief is brought out by McPherson in his book. In addition, the analysis will make an examination of the underlying as well as related sources with an aim of making a verification of the accuracy of the presentation. Different from these, the analysis will also look at the biases that could be presented in the publication. In his publication, McPherson seeks to bring out the triumphs together with the challenges of Abraham in combat as well as the succession from periphery states. The main aim of the book is to make an examination of the position that Abraham Lincoln held during the civil war as the commander in chief of the armed forced of the United States of America, especially his responses to the numerous challenges that faced him. The book also offers some interesting information on the civil war, especially on the events that took place and inspired Abraham to make decisions. It also summarizes it, and has a fantastic format and approach to history.

One of the most outstanding aspects is the fact that McPherson has heavily borrowed from different historians, who have come up with extensive pieces of literature on the life as well as the different roles that Abraham has played. The author has made citations of a variety of works from major authors like Ballard C, Willian T, and Ferenbancer among other sources like debates and peer reviewed papers, on which he bases his reference of Abraham. Among the interesting observations is that McPherson has gotten immense support from the a variety of articles that argued that before Abraham was elected, he was not the most suitable candidate to become the commander in chief of the armed forces (McPherson, 2009). However, Abraham strived to get the skills required to succeed in the role, including conducting vigorous studies on available pieces of literature related to war as well as military strategies. After conducting intensive research, Abraham was able to establish a strong understanding of strategies on both the national and international levels of military action. Having studied a lot of literature of strategies, Lincoln seemed to follow by a maxim of combat strategists who argued that war should be viewed as an alternative to the propagation of national policies, more so when the political approaches seem to be failing (Miller, 2012).

In his work, McPherson brings out a character of Abraham as an individual who is very aggressive as a commander in chief, despite being brilliantly persistent. Famously viewed as a self trained commander in chief and a lawyer by training, Abraham was very aggressive to pursue perceived enemies when they seemed to pose a challenge. Thus, it was necessary that he operated with army generals who shared a similar ideology, more so those with the agility to pursue victory when they sort to (Bever, & Suarez, 2014). McPherson has brilliantly portrayed the level of energy and vigor that the commander in chief pursues different victories. This could have been the reason Abraham was forced to replace his generals over time, as he sort to find one that had the required level of aggressiveness. In his book, McPherson has reiterated this view, where he goes on to argue that Abraham Lincoln was actively involved in most of the offensives that took place in the year 1863. Abraham expected that all his generals would act with a high level of urgency, something that is reflected in the year 1863 when he opted to oust General Haleck H together with General McLellan G B. He made these decisions with an aim of making sure that there was an adequate level of aggressiveness. As McPherson makes a presentation, the commander in chief had the intention of finding the generals who facilitated a reliable level of synergy to match his political knowledge (McPherson, 2009).

On the preface of the book, McPherson makes an assertion that a majority of literature that talks about Abraham pays a disproportional level of attention to his role as the commander in chief rather than on his devotion to the task ahead of him (Ford, 2011). This looks like his rational of McPherson when writing his book ‘Tried by War’, instead of coming up with another biography of the life of Abraham Lincoln. The entire piece of literature focuses on Abraham’s presidency, more so his prosecution of the civil war.

The justification given by McPherson for coming up with this book seems spurious. The pace of the book, together with the insight of the author towards Lincoln’s style of management seems to be terrific. Although the book is easily legible and understandable, something that makes it constantly informative and entertaining. While most of the books written on Abraham Lincoln seem to be filled with dull explanations and details of tactics for war as well as movements of troops, this work seems to be targeting a younger generation, more so the patient audience.

Despite this, most of the content in the book is not true. Considering the background of the author, together with the sources used, it would have been expected that there was some deeper analysis, deeper as well as a robust analysis of the actions and decisions that Abraham made during the war. Although McPherson successfully demonstrates a strong mastery of the subject matter, most aspects of the commentary external and shaky. However, the book has a substantial amount of new and emerging content related to the military leaders that Abraham worked with during the battle. This would be very exciting to the readers that are looking for a special insight on the great battles, more so on the military strategies. McPherson manages to utilize a number of primary sources, which offer strong arguments and insights on military strategies used by Abraham (McPherson, 2009).

Overall, McPherson has opted to take an alternative approach to many historians, who have concentrated on writing biographies of Abraham Lincoln, opting to write more about his achievements during the civil war. In his book, McPherson utilizes both primary and secondary sources that give him a strong basis for arguments, which are related to the military strategies and decisions that Abraham Lincoln utilized at the war. This book offers both education and entertainment to the readers, and is most suitable for people that are looking for insight on his Abraham’s management of the civil war. Moreover, this book also gives a detailed analysis of the life of Abraham Lincoln as a president to the extent where he is ‘Tied by War’ to a level that is satisfactory.


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