Lincoln and the Power of the Press

Lincoln and the Power of the Press

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a€œLincoln believed that a€˜with public sentiment nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.a€™ Harold Holzer makes a significant contribution to our understanding of Lincolna€™s leadership by showing us how deftly he managed his relations with the press of his day to move public opinion forward to preserve the Union and abolish slavery.a€ a€”Doris Kearns Goodwin From his earliest days, Lincoln devoured newspapers. As he started out in politics he wrote editorials and letters to argue his case. He spoke to the public directly through the press. He even bought a German-language newspaper to appeal to that growing electorate in his state. Lincoln alternately pampered, battled, and manipulated the three most powerful publishers of the day: Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune, James Gordon Bennett of the New York Herald, and Henry Raymond of the New York Times. When war broke out and the nation was tearing itself apart, Lincoln authorized the most widespread censorship in the nationa€™s history, closing down papers that were a€œdisloyala€ and even jailing or exiling editors who opposed enlistment or sympathized with secession. The telegraph, the new invention that made instant reporting possible, was moved to the office of Secretary of War Stanton to deny it to unfriendly newsmen. Holzer shows us an activist Lincoln through journalists who covered him from his start through to the night of his assassinationa€”when one reporter ran to the box where Lincoln was shot and emerged to write the story covered with blood. In a wholly original way, Holzer shows us politicized newspaper editors battling for power, and a masterly president using the press to speak directly to the people and shape the nation.But we cannot quite agree with him in thinking that any party is bound to require such service by running a candidate . . . merely for ... Mr. Greeleya#39;s letter suggests sundry other topics of discourse, upon which, however, we forbear to enter. In regard to his own profession, for example, we presume he has learned effectually , a€”though at some personal cost, a€”that ... It is a very bad matter to coerce a whole community, and the attempt indicates quite as little wisdom, as it generally securesanbsp;...

Title:Lincoln and the Power of the Press
Author:Harold Holzer
Publisher:Simon and Schuster - 2014-10-14


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