Fred Martin’s book, Abraham Lincoln’s Path to Reelection in 1864: Our Greatest Victory, allows the reader to grasp the magnitude of that election primarily through the words of the actors who battled for the future of our nation during trying times.
“Arguably the most consequential election in American history, the presidential contest of 1864 has cried out for a more sophisticated analysis than it has heretofore received. Fortunately, Fred Martin’s background in political journalism and in banking has enabled him to provide such an analysis in this book, which is a welcome addition to the Lincoln literature.”
—Michael Burlingame, Author, Abraham Lincoln: A Life; Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies, History Department, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences University of Illinois, Springfield IL
“Fred Martin has written an illuminating account of the roots of Lincoln’s success as president, culminating in his victory in the critical election of 1864. Effectively using Lincoln’s words as well as those of his contemporaries, Martin demonstrates how it became possible for Lincoln to overcome his early background and become a skillful and ethical political leader who saved the Union and ended slavery. The book clearly is a labor of love for Martin, a long-time student of Abraham Lincoln. Every person interested in Lincoln and his presidency should have this well researched and well-written book in his/her library.”
—William C. Harris, Author of Lincoln and the Border States: Preserving the Union (2011) and Lincoln and the Union Governors (2013)
“Fred Martin’s book, Abraham Lincoln’s Path to Reelection in 1864: Our Greatest Victory, allows the reader to grasp the magnitude of that election primarily through the words of the actors who battled for the future of our nation during trying times. Mr. Martin brings his extensive background in finance and government to bear, allowing the reader to link monetary policy and legislative process into their understanding of the conflict. His discussion concerning the funding of the northern war effort, the machinations of Secretary of Treasury Chase, and the collapse of the Confederacy’s ability to finance the war give readers new insights into the economics that drove the outcome of the war and the future of our nation.”
—Frederick Cannon, Executive Vice President and Global Director of Research & Equity Strategy, Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, New York, NY
“In this sparkling debut, journalist Martin provides an expertly curated journey through the literature on Lincoln, focusing on the attributes that helped him win what was arguably the nation’s most fractious re-election campaign.
Martin excels at illustrating Lincoln’s deft use of political patronage…As a lifelong Lincoln fan and two-term president of the Abraham Lincoln Institute in Washington, D.C., Martin has a positive point of view, but even though his adulation is evident, he doesn’t sugarcoat history. He also gives Lincoln’s detractors plenty of ink.
Lincoln’s own words, in long extracts from letters, speeches and official documents, permeate the text, along with contemporaneous quotes from friends and foes and samplings of scholarly analysis. A former journalist, Martin weaves this material smoothly into his own narrative. Lincoln aficionados should carve out time and space for this addition to the canon.”
Senator Richard G. Lugar (retired) said of Fred J. Martin Jr.’s Lincoln book:
“As Americans…prepare for the election of a new president in 2016, political polls consistently record a substantial lack of confidence in national political leaders of both major parties and a disturbing sentiment that the United States is on the wrong track in current policy developments.
Many citizens charge that both the right and left wings of American political thought and practice are moving consistently in more extreme directions with those leaders who are able to entertain, debate and reach compromise fewer in number each year. These sentiments lead to unfortunate summaries of alleged failures of our democratic institutions and proposals for actions that did not speak well of our Constitutional form of government. Fortunately, at this moment in our history, Fred J. Martin, Jr. has stepped forward with a comprehensive analysis of politics in the 1860s and, most importantly, the political genius of Abraham Lincoln as he led our country through a series of perilous crises into new paths of confidence and greatness.
I admire, especially, Fred Martin’s mastery of political detail and the large variety of motivations, strategies and actions of a wide assortment of political players. The 1864 presidential election victory of Abraham Lincoln was never inevitable, and readers of Fred Martin’s account will surely say a prayer of thankfulness not only for the political wisdom of Abraham Lincoln but for the divine guidance which surely helped bring him strength, wisdom, and a practical idealism which can be a guide to our current regaining of American confidence in our government.”