Reviews

For years, I have longed to be in the same room with Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill. And now Lewis Lehrman has given all of us that chance with this sweeping, yet intimate study of the war leadership of both remarkable men. With penetrating insight, Lehrman unfolds the contrasts and similarities between these two leaders: their points of origin, their temperaments, the nature of their ambitions, their leadership styles. I savored every page of this magnificent work. – Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize winner, author of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Few men have more profoundly shaped modern history than Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill. In this enlightening, original analysis of their leadership, Lewis E. Lehrman not only sheds a bright light on their remarkable achievements but he also deepens our understanding of the nature of statesmanship. How two leaders of such radically different backgrounds and temperaments led their nations to victory in wars of national survival—thus vindicating government of the people, by the people, and for the people—is an inspiring story, based on deep research, told by Lehrman with great skill. Admirers of both leaders, as well as history fans in general, will enjoy this very well written book and wonder why no previous historian has undertaken such an important comparative study. – Professor Michael Burlingame, Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois-Springfield and author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life

Lewis E. Lehrman’s book brings a laserlike focus to bear on the two greatest English-speaking statesman of the 19th and 20th century—Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill. The latter is the grandson of a duke, the former was born in rural poverty . . . one a soldier in early maturity, the other a self-taught lawyer who never served more than one summer in the militia . . . one written down by some as a bounder and a prodigal, the other notable for his humility and thrift. Lehrman’s dual examination is a compelling study, beautifully written, about the ideals and temperament of these two very different men—their restless intelligence . . . their wonderful stamina . . . their resilience in the face of defeat and disaster . . . their feel for the power of the English language . . . their mix of calmness and aggression . . . their commitment to free institutions. Lehrman’s book is much more than elegant biography; he has also given us a well-wrought primer on national leadership. This book will amply repay every moment spent studying it. – Allen C. Guelzo, Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College and author of several prize-winning books on Lincoln and the Civil War, including Gettysburg: The Last Invasion and Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President

In Lincoln & Churchill: Statesmen at War, Lewis E. Lehrman has accomplished a triumph of interpretation—to unite and to compare the leadership of two great English-speaking statesmen, eight decades apart, engaged in entirely different wars, by showing us what matters about both wars and war leaders, what they had in common, and how they differed. A beautifully written interpretive history, backed by over 1,200 carefully considered footnote-references, Mr. Lehrman illustrates the steel in both war leaders, however vastly they contrasted in upbringing, experience, and personality. This remarkable book is the very first major scholarly effort to compare the greatest English-speaking statesmen of the 19th and 20th centuries. – Richard M. Langworth, CBE, Founder of the Churchill Centre, Founding Editor of Finest Hour and the Chartwell Bulletin, and author of Churchill in His Own Words

The relationship between biography and general historical writing can be at times fraught. Because the historian is charged with not only telling history but also explaining it, any book structured around a single person will find itself at constant risk of adopting the thrilling but untestable idea that the events of human history are principally driven by a select group of once-in-a-generation “Great Men.” And yet, great men have always existed—men who in select moments make significant contributions to the direction and survival of our civilization. Lewis Lehrman’s most recent book tackles the wartime efforts of two such men—Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill—but manages to remain cool-tempered and analytical in the process. Though they lived in different eras and nations, both men valiantly led their respective countries through existentially perilous struggles (Lincoln’s Civil War and Churchill’s fight against Hitler’s Germany). The two had drastically different personalities, but held in common a rare gift for oratory, similar war strategies, and, most of all, an undying commitment to core principles of freedom and liberty. – The New Criterion

The enduring fame of Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill rests chiefly on their leadership during existential conflicts. And while the American Civil War and World War II differed in scale, strategic difficulty and technological complexity, the two leaders indelibly stamped their respective causes in similar ways, as Lewis E. Lehrman observes in his penetrating new book, Lincoln & Churchill: Statesmen at War. . . . Deeply researched and elegantly written, Mr. Lehrman’s Lincoln & Churchill is a valuable contribution to our knowledge of the past. By expertly conjoining two great leaders in a single volume, he has enhanced our understanding of both. – Michael F. Bishop The Wall Street Journal

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But rarely does posterity compare and contrast these two historical giants to seek a better understanding of both men. Thankfully, this is what Lewis E. Lehrman has accomplished in his newest book, Lincoln & Churchill: Statesmen at War, an unparalleled examination of war leadership, character, and statecraft by two of the greatest men of their respective generations…. In Lincoln & Churchill, Lehrman offers up a book of inspired insight, impressive erudition, and monumental historical achievement. It is a book worthy of every history lover’s shelf. – Jason Emerson author of Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln for The American Spectator

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Lehrman organizes this comparative study largely topically rather than chronologically, examining such subjects as the men’s respective paths to power, their rhetorical skills, their recruitment strategies, and their legacies…this is a well-researched, first-rate work whose comparative approach significantly enhances readers’ understanding of both men and of effective political leadership during wartime. –  Publishers Weekly

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Lehrman has given us a finely crafted model template for comparative studies of statesmanship: ‘In these two statesmen,’ he writes, ‘the genius, the virtue, and the hope of the human race had expressed themselves as to be studied, admired and emulated for all time to come.’ – William John Shepherd, Associate Archivist of The Catholic University of America.  The Churchill Project at Hillsdale College

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One of the most valuable aspects of this work is how cogently it reveals the similarity of traits that made Lincoln and Churchill such outstanding wartime leaders. Both men possessed an aptitude for military affairs and harbored a deep understanding of history. Most critically, Lehrman documents Lincoln’s and Churchill’s shared sense of moral clarity with regard to the respective evils of American slavery and Nazism…. This compelling monograph makes one wonder how the respective leaders escaped more direct comparison for so long. Robert A. McLain, Professor of History at California State University, Fullerton.  Finest Hour

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