Harper Academic

Lincoln's Mentors

The Education of a Leader

by Michael J. Gerhardt

On Sale: 02/02/2021

Price: $32.50

Lincoln's Mentors

Enlarge Book Cover

Lincoln's Mentors

The Education of a Leader

by Michael J. Gerhardt

On Sale: 02/02/2021

Format:

Price: $32.50

About the Book

A brilliant and novel examination of how Abraham Lincoln mastered the art of leadership, revealing how five men mentored an obscure lawyer with no executive experience to become America’s greatest president

“Gerhardt has devised an ingenious solution for demystifying America’s most enigmatic president.” –Russell L. Riley, UVA’s Miller Center

In 1849, when Abraham Lincoln returned to Springfield, Illinois, after two seemingly uninspiring years in the U.S. House of Representatives, his political career appeared all but finished. His sense of failure was so great that friends worried about his sanity. Yet within a decade, Lincoln would reenter politics, become a leader of the Republican Party, win the 1860 presidential election, and keep America together during its most perilous period. What accounted for the turnaround?

As Michael J. Gerhardt reveals, Lincoln’s reemergence followed the same path he had taken before, in which he read voraciously and learned from the successes, failures, oratory, and political maneuvering of a surprisingly diverse handful of men, some of whom he had never met but others of whom he knew intimately—Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, John Todd Stuart, and Orville Browning. From their experiences and his own, Lincoln learned valuable lessons on leadership, mastering party politics, campaigning, conventions, understanding and using executive power, managing a cabinet, speechwriting and oratory, and—what would become his most enduring legacy—developing policies and rhetoric to match a constitutional vision that spoke to the monumental challenges of his time.

Without these mentors, Abraham Lincoln would likely have remained a small-town lawyer—and without Lincoln, the United States as we know it may not have survived. This book tells the unique story of how Lincoln emerged from obscurity and learned how to lead.

 

Critical Praise

“Michael J. Gerhardt has devised an ingenious solution for demystifying America’s most enigmatic president: examining the key people who influenced Lincoln as he developed his own unique skills and leadership style. These pages trace how a poor backwoods farm boy rose to become among the most eloquent defenders of America’s highest ideals, as well as a steely and tenacious source of unity when the nation needed it most. Gerhardt shows that Lincoln’s genius was in borrowing selectively from the examples of his mentors—both the famous and the obscure—to become an unsurpassed original.” - Russell L. Riley, Co-chair of the Presidential Oral History Program at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center

“Understanding the ideas that shaped Lincoln’s mind helps us understand the ideas that shaped the American mind. In this illuminating book, Michael Gerhardt brings Lincoln’s intellectual and political mentors to life, offering vivid and unexpected insights about Lincoln and the teachers who inspired him.” - Jeffrey Rosen, President & CEO, National Constitution Center

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062877192
  • ISBN 10: 0062877194
  • Imprint: Custom House
  • On Sale: 02/02/2021
  • Trimsize: 6.000 in (w) x 9.000 in (h) x 1.490 in (d)
  • Pages: 496
  • List Price: $32.50
  • BISAC1 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Presidents & Heads of State
  • BISAC2 : HISTORY / United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
  • BISAC3 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Historical