The Real Lincoln by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

The Real Lincoln

This book makes it clear that Lincoln was not what contemporary historians claim he was, in that he was a racist, a tyrant, and a facilitator if not generator of mass genocide. I will not go into the proof, as I’m simply reviewing this book. Feel free to leave a comment.

Positive: In a very concise and factual manner this book reveals the true nature of Lincoln and his war. It answers many questions, and is full of excellent quotes that waterproof the author’s case.

Negative: In the chapter on the manner in which Southern civilians were targeted by the U.S. Army, there can be somewhat graphic content. The author also has a tendency to draw conclusions for you such as “See? (Fill in the blank).” This is something my dad and I dislike, and it can be rather distracting. If you can overlook that, this book was very helpful.

Overall: Very good. Convincing evidence, good writing style despite the flaw alluded to above, and not terribly long. I very highly recommend it. It is a little over 300 pages.

This and “The South Was Right!” are probably the two best histories of the War of Northern Aggression out there.


7 thoughts on “The Real Lincoln by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

  1. OK. While I agree with States rights and while I agree that the Northern generals were scum, your review is a bit lopsided. If you are going to assert that the author is correct and that Lincoln was evil, you should provide a little support.

    Furthermore, I suspect that we can find strong evidence of positive things Lincoln did, wrote and said. Frankly, while I don’t think he was the world’s greatest person, any book that says that one of our presidents was the world’s worst person is suspect up front. It sounds as if the author has an opinion and cherry picked his points.

    But before we hang people with our 20/20 hindsight, let’s consider King David for a few moments. Go read 2 Samuel and come back and compare/constrast David to Lincoln. Both men did great things that we can support. Both men did horrendous things that we abhor. Though we can’t see God’s opinion of Lincoln, we can see that God still loved David despite his horrendous failings. Might not God have a similar perspective on Lincoln?

    I’m not defending Lincoln per se. I have heard/read that he did bad things, but I have also seen many many books defending Lincoln as a man of God. Are you saying that all of those books are wrong and that Lincoln was evil based on one author’s book? Especially an author that you pointed out seems to be less than objective?

    I’m not saying that he is wrong, but he will have to go far to convince me to take his work seriously as a scholarly writing and not a piece of revisionist historical fiction. Too much evidence stands opposed to him. He may be a convince author (like Dan Brown), but that doesn’t make him right. It just makes him a convincing read. One lone voice saying that Lincoln was evil? That doesn’t make sense.

    Also, to his claim that the war was unnecessary, someone should point him to Daniel Webster who spent his life trying to prevent the war. Even Webster failed. If Webster failed, Lincoln surely couldn’t have prevented it.

    😀 (No offense meant either.)

  2. You are right Matt. My review was lopsided and altogether too short. I should have seriously overhauled it before submitting it. I really should redo it for you. Please accept my humble apologies.

    I don’t think the author was saying he was the world’s worst person, simply that he was not what he is said to be. He also attempts to show what Lincoln really was.

    Can you give me some examples of what positive things he said?

    “I am not now, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social or political equality of the white and black races. I am not now nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor of intermarriages with white people.

    There is a physical difference between the white and the black races which will forever forbid the two races living together on social or political equality. There must be a position of superior and inferior, and I am in favor of assigning the superior position to the white man.”
    ~ Lincoln in his speech to Charleston, Illinois, 1858.

    “Though we can’t see God’s opinion of Lincoln, we can see that God still loved David despite his horrendous failings. Might not God have a similar perspective on Lincoln?”


    “My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures have become clearer and stronger with advancing years, and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.” ~ 1862 letter to Judge J.S. Wakefield, after the death of Willie Lincoln.

    What do you mean I said he wasn’t objective?? And he’s not a lone voice. The South Was Right, Southern By the Grace of God, and I’ll Take My Stand, all by different authors, agree on the subject of Lincoln. If you go back to material from the ’30s era and earlier, much of it is on the same line as this. One of the members of my Company, The Wythe’s Grays, 4th Va., was convinced that the South was right by reading a public school textbook of the 1930’s.

    Unfortunately, the modern mainstream media is very selective of what is publishes.

    If you need convincing, then please read this book and some of the others I mentioned. I would consider it a great favor if you would.

    Webster did try to prevent Secession in the 1850s. That is not the same as attempting to prevent war. You cannot equate Secession with war. When the South seceded in 1860-61, their President Davis said “All we wish is to be left alone.” Clearly the North did not do that, and war resulted. Lincoln authorized a full military fleet to relieve troops in Fort Sumpter, Charleston, SC, and take over the port. That is invasion. The troops were supposed to be evacuated since Fort Sumpter was part of Charleston, which as a seceded state, was not under the control of the U.S. government. The South was forced to take the Fort in order to prevent the capture of Charleston. The fleet therefore turned back. If that is not an incident to create war, I don’t know what is. So I don’t think Lincoln was even trying to prevent war anyway.

    And no I’m not offended. 🙂 Please do me the favor of reading these articles. (No particular article on this one – just the site in general!)

  3. 😀

    I’ll look into it later. I understand that many of these books (pro / con Lincoln) tend to overlook things that disagree with them. For example, I have seen people write that Washington was an unsaved and a heretic and others who proclaimed that Washington was a man of God. The answer? I don’t know who’s correct. Still, I have seen enough of this to be hesitant to write someone off too quickly. (Or to trust them too much to quickly.)

  4. Well, I’m Confederate through and through, but it has been interesting reading the above comments. Seeing the different ideas being passed around.
    The review was short, but thanks for being willing to submit one! It did gives us some basic information about the book. (I think we have this book somewhere in our library of books, now I will have to look) 🙂
    By the way, I would just add that I believe Washington was a man of G-d, for various and as sundry reasons.

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