"Tried by War" is written by Pulitzer Prize Winner James McPherson, and it is about our esteemed US President Abraham Lincoln during both of his administrations which was beset by a turbulent Civil War. From the moment he took office, he faced the fateful decision of the Fort Sumter matter, and until his assassiation, both of his administrations were in the throes of a deadly war. Even though there was a surrender by Robert E. Lee a few days before his assassination, there were still confederate armies in the field. There has been no US President since that had to face that challenge while leading our country in the midst of it all.
I picked this book because Lincoln was someone I looked up to growing up, and he was one of my inspirations to become a lawyer - a people's lawyer. I was inspired about how he "read the law" to become a lawyer as opposed to going to a traditional law school. How he came from nothing and became something great. Also, sometimes I feel like I am "tried by war" when I take an injury case to jury trial. While we are not using ammonition or cannons, we are using our pens, legal briefs and critical thinking skills as our weapons for our injured clients.
Also, there has been some critcism of Lincoln over the last Century as to whether he has been over-deified, or over matyred, and whether or not he usurped too much Federal power when managing the war. There are arguments both for and against this, and perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the middle. But no one can argue the fact that this man took responsibilty and became a leader during this most devastating time in our history. His leadership and legacy led to some of the most fundamental personal freedoms we all enjoy and can still touch to this day.
His leadership brought about the end to Slavery under the 13th Amendement, and the "Due Process Clause" of the 14th Amendment which disallows unlawful infringement by the government to a citizen's right to liberty and property. Through his adversity and hardship the pages of this book glimmer with the light of hope as this man perservered through it all, until an assassin's bullet put him down. Lincoln said it best when he referred to "the issue of Seccession and Slavery as an issue that is clear, concise and distinct, it is an issue to be tried by war, and decided in victory."
Thus, I recommend this book by James McPherson for your reading enjoyment. If you happen to read it, or have read, feel free to drop comments to me on what you thought about it. As always, keep on leading with your reading, take care. Attorney Mark