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Lincoln & History

"Lincoln In The World" Reviews His Handling Of Foreign Affairs


Kevin Peraino has written a book about Lincoln, but it's on a topic few have tackled.  "Lincoln In The World" examines Lincoln's foreign policy and his influence around the world.  

Peraino is qualified in this area, having served as a foreign correspondent for Newsweek. 

He says there are reasons why so little is written about Lincoln and his foreign diplomacy. "We think of the Civil War as a domestic conflict, and it was, and that just sucked up a lot of the oxygen. But the other thing was Lincoln had a very strong and competent Secretary of State in William Henry Seward.  And he delegated a lot of daily foreign affairs business to Seward."

While Lincoln was not involved on a daily basis in international affairs, Peraino says he played a huge role in keeping Britain and France from intervening on the side of the Confederacy.   The author also says Mary Todd Lincoln was interested in foreign matters, including trying to get certain people appointed to ambassador positions. 

Peraino speaks at the Lincoln Presidential Museum tomorrow night at 6.  The event is free but requires reservations.

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