Saturday, March 28, 2009

Books about the rise of conservatism: 5 best

At the Wall Street Journal, David Frum, author of Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again, named a five best list of books about the rise of conservatism.

One title on his list:
Abraham Lincoln
by Allen C. Guelzo
W.B. Eerdmans, 1999

As Allen Guelzo notes in his profound study of Lincoln's deepest political beliefs, "Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President," the future emancipator rejected from his earliest youth Thomas Jefferson's cult of the soil. Lincoln recognized that the Whigs -- with their message of individual and national self-improvement through enterprise -- opened opportunity for talents like his own, while a farming society must be an immobile society. Yet it was Lincoln's political genius to seize and reinterpret Jefferson's egalitarian words and to build a new national ideology on the wreck of slaveholder power -- baffling and outraging Southern slavemasters who had always (and with some justice) assumed that their neighbor and hero Jefferson had written those words to champion them.
Read about Number One on Frum's list.

The Page 99 Test: Allen C. Guelzo's Lincoln and Douglas.

--Marshal Zeringue