Cover image for War of words : Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War press
War of words : Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War press
Maihafer, Harry J. (Harry James), 1924-
First edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Brassey's Inc., [2001]

Physical Description:
viii, 296 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E457.2 .M28 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A shrewd politician, Abraham Lincoln recognized the power of the press. He knew that, at most, a few thousand people might hear one of his speeches in person, but countless readers across the nation would absorb his message through newspapers. While he was always under fire by some hostile portion of the openly partisan nineteenth-century media, through the careful cultivation of relationships Lincoln successfully wooed numerous prominent newspapermen into aiding his agenda. Whether he was editing his own speech in a newspaper office or inviting reporters to the White House to leak a story, the President skillfully steered the Union through the perils of war by playing his own version of the public relations game.

Author Notes

Harry J. Maihafer holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Modern politicians are quite aware that the support of the press can make or break their careers. Here, Maihafer, a West Point graduate, retired U.S. Army officer, and author of The General and the Journalists: Ulysses S. Grant, Horace Greeley, and Charles Dana, examines the media savvy of Abraham Lincoln, long recognized as a masterly politician. Tracing the evolution of Lincoln's political career and his relationship with the press, he demonstrates how Lincoln, who was not as highly regarded in his day as he would become later, worked with this important group to promote himself and his agenda and build support for the Union cause. This engagingly written book would be enjoyed by the general reader, but because so much has been written on Lincoln, libraries that already own, for example, Michael Burlingame's Lincoln's Journalist: John Hay's Anonymous Writings for the Press, 1860-1864 or Lincoln Observed: The Civil War Dispatches of Noah Brooks, which examines Lincoln's relationship with individual writers, may wish to think twice about buying it. Theresa R. McDevitt, Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Preface: Lincoln and the Mediap. vii
Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1 "Cook County Is for Abraham Lincoln"p. 4
Chapter 2 "Honest Old Abe"p. 17
Chapter 3 "The Better Angels of Our Nature"p. 31
Chapter 4 "In the Depths of Bitterness"p. 43
Chapter 5 "As Deep as a Well"p. 57
Chapter 6 "I Would Save the Union"p. 72
Chapter 7 "A Worse Place Than Hell"p. 86
Chapter 8 "I'll Copy the Short One"p. 98
Chapter 9 "The Very Best I Can"p. 112
Chapter 10 "The Promise Must Be Kept"p. 124
Chapter 11 "All Men are Created Equal"p. 139
Chapter 12 "Why, Here Is General Grant!"p. 154
Chapter 13 "I Begin to See It"p. 167
Chapter 14 "Get Down, You Damn Fool!"p. 182
Chapter 15 "We Fly the Banner of Abraham Lincoln!"p. 196
Chapter 16 "Not a Vindictive Man"p. 212
Chapter 17 "With Malice toward None"p. 227
Chapter 18 "A Righteous and Speedy Peace"p. 241
Notesp. 256
Bibliographyp. 281
Indexp. 286