The winner of a Lincoln Prize for his book Lincoln at Cooper Union, Harold Holzer explores here the four months between Lincoln's election and inauguration, when the president-elect rejected compromises on slavery urged on him by Republicans and Democrats, Northerners and Southerners, that might have preserved the Union a little longer but would have enshrined slavery for generations. Holzer argues that Lincoln fully understood the secession crisis resulting from his election, and waged a shrewd and complex campaign to prevent the expansion of slavery while trying to limit secession to a few Deep South states.
"This is a stunningly original work that casts completely new light on the most turbulent and critical presidential transition in American history. Holzer's superb narrative skill, along with his abundant use of colorful details, creates an atmosphere of such immediacy that the reader feels transported back to 'the Great Secession Winter' as an eye-witness to Lincoln's gifted leadership during this dramatic period. This groundbreaking book will take its place with the most valuable and indispensable works in the Lincoln canon."—Doris Kearns Goodwin