When it originally appeared, A New Birth of Freedom represented a milestone in Lincoln studies, the culmination of over a half a century of study and reflection by one of America's foremost scholars of American politics. Now reissued on the centenary of Jaffa’s birth with a new foreword by the esteemed Lincoln scholar Allen Guelzo, this long-awaited sequel to Jaffa’s earlier classic, Crisis of the House Divided, offers a piercing examination of the political thought of Abraham Lincoln and the themes of self-government, equality, and statesmanship on the eve of the Civil War.
“Four decades ago, Harry Jaffa offered powerful insights on the Lincoln-Douglas debates in his Crisis of the House Divided. In this long-awaited sequel, he picks up the threads of that earlier study in this stimulating new interpretation of the showdown conflict between slavery and freedom in the election of 1860 and the secession crisis that followed. Every student of Lincoln needs to read and ponder this book.”— James M. McPherson, Princeton University
“A masterful synthesis and analysis of the contending political philosophies on the eve of the Civil War. A magisterial work that arrives after a lifetime of scholarship and reflection—and earns our gratitude as well as our respect.”— Kirkus Reviews
“The essence of Jaffa's case—meticulously laid out over nearly 500 pages—is that the Constitution is not, as Lincoln put it, a 'free love arrangement' held together by passing fancy. It is an indissoluble compact in which all men consent to be governed by majority, provided their inalienable rights are preserved.”— Bret Stephens; The Wall Street Journal
Harry V. Jaffa was an American political philosopher, historian, columnist, and professor.
Allen C. Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce III Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College, where he serves as Director of the Civil War Studies Program.