Lewis E. Lehrman --> reviewed by William Voegeli -->

Lewis Lehrman begins his book with the daunting observation that the library of volumes about Abraham Lincoln is “vast”—larger, perhaps, than on any historical figure except Jesus. The acknowledgment implies a challenge: why should he write, and we read, one more Lincoln book? Can there be anything new, important, or even interesting left to say? Lehrman meets that challenge with a book that is argued, organized, and researched as deftly as it is titled. Lincoln at Peoria: The Turning Point asks what did Lincoln do at Peoria, and how was it a turning point?

Lehrman’s answers, briefly, are that on October 16, 1854 Lincoln gave a three-hour speech—more than sixty times as long as the...

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