Forge of Empires: Three Revolutionary Statesmen and the World They Made, 1861-1871

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Simon and Schuster, 2007 M10 16 - 496 páginas
In the space of a single decade, three leaders liberated tens of millions of souls, remade their own vast countries, and altered forever the forms of national power:
  • Abraham Lincoln freed a subjugated race and transformed the American Republic.
  • Tsar Alexander II broke the chains of the serfs and brought the rule of law to Russia.
  • Otto von Bismarck threw over the petty Teutonic princes, defeated the House of Austria and the last of the imperial Napoleons, and united the German nation.

The three statesmen forged the empires that would dominate the twentieth century through two world wars, the Cold War, and beyond. Each of the three was a revolutionary, yet each consolidated a nation that differed profoundly from the others in its conceptions of liberty, power, and human destiny. Michael Knox Beran's Forge of Empires brilliantly entwines the stories of the three epochal transformations and their fateful legacies.

Telling the stories from the point of view of those who participated in the momentous events -- among them Walt Whitman and Friedrich Nietzsche, Mary Chesnut and Leo Tolstoy, Napoleon III and the Empress Eugénie -- Beran weaves a rich tapestry of high drama and human pathos. Great events often turned on the decisions of a few lone souls, and each of the three statesmen faced moments of painful doubt or denial as well as significant decisions that would redefine their nations.

With its vivid narrative and memorable portraiture, Forge of Empires sheds new light on a question of perennial importance: How are free states made, and how are they unmade? In the same decade that saw freedom's victories, one of the trinity of liberators revealed himself as an enemy to the free state, and another lost heart. What Lincoln called the "germ" of freedom, which was "to grow and expand into the universal liberty of mankind," came close to being annihilated in a world crisis that pitted the free state against new philosophies of terror and coercion.

Forge of Empires is a masterly story of one of history's most significant decades.

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Crítica de los usuarios  - Tower_Bob - LibraryThing

In the space of a single decade, three leaders liberated tens of millions of souls, remade their own vast countries, and altered forever the forms of national power: Abraham Lincoln freed a subjugated ... Leer comentario completo

FORGE OF EMPIRES: Three Revolutionary Statesmen and the World They Made, 1861-1871

Crítica de los usuarios  - Kirkus

A sprightly work of scholarship by journalist-historian Beran (Jefferson's Demons: Portraits of a Restless Mind, 2003) cuts suspensefully among decisive moments in the lives of Abraham Lincoln, Otto ... Leer comentario completo

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Contenido

9
116
Epilogue
366
Abbreviations in Notes and Sources
379
Acknowledgments
459
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Página 390 - This is essentially a people's contest. On the side of the Union it is a struggle for maintaining in the world that form and substance of government whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men...
Página 224 - In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party; and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect his purpose.
Página 384 - In all social systems there must be a class to do the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of life. That is, a class requiring but a low order of intellect and but little skill.
Página 231 - Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.
Página 106 - I beg to assure you that I have never written you or spoken to you in greater kindness of feeling than now, nor with a fuller purpose to sustain you, so far as, in my most anxious judgment, I consistently can. But you must act.
Página 139 - I have not so much of the confidence of the people as I had some time since, I do not know that, all things considered, any other person has more; and, however this may be, there is no way in which I can have any other man put where I am. I am here. I must do the best I can, and bear the responsibility of taking the course which I feel I ought to take.
Página 146 - Like the patriarchs of old, our men live all in one house with their wives and their concubines; and the mulattoes one sees in every family partly resemble the white children.
Página 163 - South; but there is no doubt that Jefferson Davis and other leaders of the South have made an army; they are making, it appears, a navy; and they have made,— what is more than either,— they have made a nation.
Página 113 - If I save this army now, I tell you plainly that I owe no thanks to you, or to any other persons in Washington. " You have done your best to sacrifice this army.

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