Cover of: William Henry Seward | Taylor, John M.
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Last edited by Bryan Tyson
February 6, 2015 | History
An edition of William Henry Seward (1991)

William Henry Seward

Lincoln's right hand — 1st Brassey's Five-Star paperback ed.

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This edition published in by Brassey's in Washington, D.C.

Written in English

340 pages

A friendly yet not uncritical biography of the secretary of state in the Lincoln and Andrew Johnson Cabinets. Taylor -- who chronicled his father's life in General Maxwell Taylor (1987) -- offers neither much original scholarship nor a fresh approach, but writes smoothly and with balance. Why did Seward, front-runner for the 1860 GOP presidential nomination, lose his party's nod to the relatively unknown Lincoln, and why has he been so completely eclipsed by him since? Taylor depicts a politico whose manifold talents were often undermined by his own ambiguity (even Seward admitted that he "found myself an enigma to myself''). Intellectual, shrewd, diligent, convivial, and even charitable toward enemies, Seward was also willing to trim his sails in pursuit of political objectives. Linking up with Albany political boss Thurlow Weed, he worked ably for liberal causes as New York's governor and, later, in the Senate, where he became leader of the antislavery faction. Losing his bid for the Presidency because of his alliance with Weed and his statements about a "higher law'' and "irrepressible conflict'' with the South, Seward later undercut his political base still further by meddling with other Cabinet members' business and clashing with Radical Republicans during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Taylor does not fully explain why Seward muted his opposition to slavery during the secession crisis in the hope of reconciling the South, and fails to criticize Seward's mistakes adequately (e.g., saber-rattling gestures toward England and France that Lincoln rightly rejected). Yet Taylor correctly praises him for keeping the South in diplomatic isolation, bucking up the melancholy Lincoln's spirits, and having the vision to push through the initially scorned Alaska purchase ("Seward's Icebox''). An orthodox but sensible treatment of a dedicated politician-statesman who was sometimes too clever and complex for his own good. - Kirkus Reviews.

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Edition Availability
Cover of: William Henry Seward
William Henry Seward: Lincoln's right hand
1996, Brassey's
Paperback in English - 1st Brassey's Five-Star paperback ed.
Cover of: William Henry Seward
Cover of: William Henry Seward
Cover of: William Henry Seward
William Henry Seward: Lincoln's right hand
1991, HarperCollins
in English - 1st ed.

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William Henry Seward First published in 1991



Work Description

A friendly yet not uncritical biography of the secretary of state in the Lincoln and Andrew Johnson Cabinets. Taylor -- who chronicled his father's life in General Maxwell Taylor (1987) -- offers neither much original scholarship nor a fresh approach, but writes smoothly and with balance. Why did Seward, front-runner for the 1860 GOP presidential nomination, lose his party's nod to the relatively unknown Lincoln, and why has he been so completely eclipsed by him since? Taylor depicts a politico whose manifold talents were often undermined by his own ambiguity (even Seward admitted that he "found myself an enigma to myself''). Intellectual, shrewd, diligent, convivial, and even charitable toward enemies, Seward was also willing to trim his sails in pursuit of political objectives. Linking up with Albany political boss Thurlow Weed, he worked ably for liberal causes as New York's governor and, later, in the Senate, where he became leader of the antislavery faction. Losing his bid for the Presidency because of his alliance with Weed and his statements about a "higher law'' and "irrepressible conflict'' with the South, Seward later undercut his political base still further by meddling with other Cabinet members' business and clashing with Radical Republicans during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Taylor does not fully explain why Seward muted his opposition to slavery during the secession crisis in the hope of reconciling the South, and fails to criticize Seward's mistakes adequately (e.g., saber-rattling gestures toward England and France that Lincoln rightly rejected). Yet Taylor correctly praises him for keeping the South in diplomatic isolation, bucking up the melancholy Lincoln's spirits, and having the vision to push through the initially scorned Alaska purchase ("Seward's Icebox''). An orthodox but sensible treatment of a dedicated politician-statesman who was sometimes too clever and complex for his own good. - Kirkus Reviews.

Table of Contents

Preface
Convention in Chicago
Sweet little valley
Anti-masons and Whigs
I was the criminal
Governor
Our conflict is with slavery
Hold him to be a man
Higher law
Flames of Kansas
Irrepressible conflict
Great crusade
Crisis
Peacemaker
War
Mr. Seward's little bell
Aggressive diplomacy
Scenes are unwritten
Remove him!
High tide and rebel raiders
Beyond the pale of human envy
Man in the light overcoat
President Johnson
He wanders around like a ghost
Empire builder
World traveler
Seward and the Lincoln legend
Appendix : Seward's "thoughts" and Lincoln's response

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references (p. [311]-331) and index.
Originally published: New York, NY : HarperCollins, c1991.

Copyright Date
1991

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
973.7/092, B
Library of Congress
E415.9.S4 T38 1996

The Physical Object

Format
Paperback
Pagination
xi, 340 p., [16] p. of plates
Number of pages
340
Dimensions
24 x x centimeters

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL989846M
ISBN 10
1574881191
ISBN 13
9781574881196
LC Control Number
96028162
Library Thing
320653
Goodreads
593836

Lists containing this Book

History

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February 6, 2015 Edited by Bryan Tyson Edited without comment.
February 6, 2015 Edited by Bryan Tyson Edited without comment.
July 30, 2010 Edited by IdentifierBot added LibraryThing ID
April 15, 2010 Edited by bgimpertBot Added goodreads ID.
April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user Imported from Scriblio MARC record.