Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War

Abraham Lincoln is one of the best interpreters of America's founding principles. He believed that free government is only possible when it protects the equal naturalrights of all.It was through the Civil War and subsequent constitutional amendments that the Constitution was brought into conformity with those principles.

Lord Charnwood, Abraham Lincoln; introduction by Peter W. Schramm

First published in 1917, this classic biography of Lincoln has recently been released in a new edition, with an informative new introduction.

Harry V. Jaffa, Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates

This indispensable work explains the issues central to the Lincoln-Douglas debates and the clash between popular sovereignty and natural rights that was at the center of the debate over slavery. This book includes insightful analyses of Lincoln's “House Divided” speech and the Gettysburg Address.

 ______., A New Birth of Freedom: Abraham Lincoln and the Coming of the Civil War

Forty years in the making, this is Jaffa’s sequel to Crisis. Here he skillfully illuminates Lincoln’s understanding of self-government, equality and statesmanship, and his refutation of the political philosophy of John C. Calhoun.

 Abraham Lincoln, Writings, edited by Don E. Fehrenbacher

 ______., Collected Works, edited by Roy P. Basler (9 vols.)

 ______., The Political Thought of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Richard Current

Lincoln-Douglas Debates, edited by Robert W. Johannsen

For splendor and profundity, no commentator on the nation's founding compares with Abraham Lincoln. See especially his Perpetuation Address (January 27, 1838), Cooper Union Address (February 27, 1860), First Inaugural (March 4, 1861), Gettysburg Address (November 19, 1863), and Second Inaugural (March 4, 1865). These volumes follow Lincoln from his speeches as a persuasive anti-slavery advocate to his explanation and defense of America's natural rights principles.

Union and Liberty: The Political Philosophy of John C. Calhoun, edited by Ross M. Lence

Calhoun was an apologist for slavery, rejected the Declaration's affirmation that all men are created equal, and asserted “states rights.” Yet he is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the present-day rejection of the Declaration, the Founders, and Lincoln. Of special interest are Calhoun's Fort Hill Address and his two treatises on government—“A Disquisition on Government” and the “Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States.”

 Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave; My Bondage and My Freedom; Life and Times, edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Douglass was the most influential black American of his day. This collection recounts Douglass' struggle under the institutions of slavery and his later efforts to destroy them. All the while, he exhibits an abiding faith in America's principles. This book includes Douglass' insights into the Declaration of Independence, The Federalist, and the Constitution.