This essay forms a continuation of American historical themes already explored from a phenomenological and symptomatic perspective. It is added to the portraits of Franklin, Washington, Pocahontas, Black Elk, Martin Luther King and others.
The book tries to explain why scholars and historians from the ‘40s to the present consistently rank Lincoln as the best president in American history. It seems his success rested on a unique individuality, aided by personal connections, fortuitous events, synchronicities without which the nation would have ceased to be what it once was. Lincoln achieved the feat of rescuing the soul of America, without weakening its Republican institutions.
In Lincoln we can surmise an initiate of old. His spiritual beliefs went beyond anyone of his time, equal or second to Emerson, Thoreau and the Transcendentalists alone. He wanted no less than to reconnect the nation to its original impulses, in fact rededicate it and reconsecrate it.
This endeavor looks at the best of existing scholarship. It assembles all the facets of a personality—the frontier man, the lawyer, the politician, the writer, the orator, the humorist, the Commander in Chief and leader, the thinker, the Christian and spiritual leader—until it can bring back to life his indomitable spirit and offer a full portrait.