A Just and Generous Nation: Abraham Lincoln and the Fight for American Opportunity

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Harold Holzer

Narrated By: Barry Press, Norton Garfinkle

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks

Date: November 2015

Duration: 10 hours 11 minutes


In A Just and Generous Nation, the eminent historian Harold Holzer and the noted economist Norton Garfinkle present a groundbreaking new account of the beliefs that inspired our sixteenth president to go to war when the Southern states seceded from the Union. Rather than a commitment to eradicating slavery or a defense of the Union, they argue that Lincoln’s guiding principle was the defense of equal economic opportunity.

Lincoln firmly believed that the government’s primary role was to ensure that all Americans had the opportunity to better their station in life. As president, he worked tirelessly to enshrine this ideal within the federal government. He funded railroads and canals, supported education, and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which opened the door for former slaves to join white Americans in striving for self-improvement. In our own age of unprecedented inequality, A Just and Generous Nation reestablishes Lincoln’s legacy as the protector not just of personal freedom but of the American dream itself.

“Lincoln’s legacy includes not only the preservation of the Union and the abolition of slavery, but also the use of government to promote economic opportunity and upward mobility for all Americans. As the authors of this eye-opening study convincingly demonstrate, the modern Republican party has repudiated this legacy by embracing policies that have promoted increasing inequality and a society that closes off opportunity.”—James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom