Lincoln's Virtues: An Ethical Biography
Miller's magisterial interpretative biography of the 16th United States president gives readers new insight into a man who managed to navigate the narrow course between ethics and political realism to become a great man who was also a good man.
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William Lee Miller's ethical biography is a fresh, engaging telling of the story of Lincoln's rise to power. Through careful scrutiny of Lincoln's actions, speeches, and writings, and of accounts from those who knew him, Miller gives us insight into the moral development of a great politician -- one who made the choice to go into politics, and ultimately realized that vocation's fullest moral possibilities. As Lincoln's Virtues makes refreshingly clear, Lincoln was not born with his face on Mount Rushmore; he was an actual human being making choices -- moral choices -- in a real world. In an account animated by wit and humor, Miller follows this unschooled frontier politician's rise, showing that the higher he went and the greater his power, the worthier his conduct would become. He would become that rare bird, a great man who was also a good man. Uniquely revealing of its subject's heart and mind, it represents a major contribution to our understanding and of Lincoln, and to the perennial American discussion of the relationship between politics and morality.