A New Birth of Freedom

Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2000.

Summary from the Publisher:

A New Birth of Freedom is the culmination of over a half a century of study and reflection by one of America’s foremost scholars of American politics, Harry V. Jaffa. This long-awaited sequel to Crisis of the House Divided, first published in 1959, continues Jaffa’s piercing examination of the political thought of Abraham Lincoln and the themes of self-government, equality, and statesmanship. Whereas Crisis of the House Divided focused on the famous senate campaign debates between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, this volume expands and deepens Jaffa’s analysis of American political thought, and gives special attention to Lincoln’s refutation of the arguments of John C. Calhoun—the intellectual champion of the Confederacy. According to Jaffa, the Civil War is the characteristic event in American history—not because it represents a statistical frequency, but rather because through the conflict of that war we are able to understand what is fundamentally at stake in the American experiment in self-government.

Table of Contents:

Ch. 1. The Election of 1800 and the Election of 1860
Ch. 2. The Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and the Historians
Ch. 3. The Divided American Mind on the Eve of Conflict: James Buchanan, Jefferson Davis, and Alexander Stephens Survey the Crisis
Ch. 4. The Mind of Lincoln’s Inaugural and the Argument and Action of the Debate That Shaped It – I
Ch. 5. The Mind of Lincoln’s Inaugural and the Argument and Action of the Debate That Shaped It – II
Ch. 6. July 4, 1861: Lincoln Tells Why the Union Must Be Preserved
Ch. 7. Slavery, Secession, and State Rights: The Political Teaching of John C. Calhoun
App. “The Dividing Line between Federal and Local Authority: Popular Sovereignty in the Territories” – A Commentary

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