by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
by Thomas J.
After the publication of my
2002 book, The Real
Lincoln, I continued to research and write on the topic. Among the
things Iíve learned since then is that Abraham Lincoln was a far worst tyrant
than I portrayed him as being in that book. A thousand times worse.
Iíve also learned that there is only
one genuine Lincoln scholar in America Ė David Donald Ė and heís retired. The
rest are all Lincoln cultists and court historians. The cultists, like
Harry Jaffa and his merry band of Straussians, ignore actual American history,
fabricate a false history, or dabble in semantics and word games in order to
portray The Great Centralizer as a god-like figure. They routinely refer to him
as "Father Abraham" and compare him to Jesus or Moses. They do this because
their agenda is not only the deification of Lincoln, but of executive power and
nationalism in general.
Their modus operandi
is to provide propaganda for the foreign policy imperialism wing of the
Republican Party and for the cause of dictatorial executive power, a cause that
George W. Bush has embraced wholeheartedly. They assist politicians like Newt
Gingrich, who recently advocated the invasion and occupation of Iran, Syria,
Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and North Korea (Wall Street Journal Online, Sept.
7) in an article that began with a Lincoln quote and was peppered with other
Lincoln quotes to make his case for what he calls "World War III."
The false legend of Abraham
Lincoln that they have contrived is used as moral cover for foreign policy
imperialism and the pursuit of empire. Thatís why they have just announced that
their Claremont Institute "statesmanship" award for 2006 will be presented at a
black tie dinner to Victor Davis Hanson, the Lincoln-quoting, National Review
Online propagandist for the war in Iraq (and for just about every
unconstitutional, illegal, or immoral act the Bush administration has engaged in
while prosecuting that unnecessary war).
The court historians run
the gamut from hard-core leftists like Eric Foner, who opposed the breakup of
the Soviet Union (saying Lincoln wouldnít have allowed it) to mainstream
liberals like Doris Kearns-Goodwin (author of Team
of Rivals) and Mario Cuomo (author of Why
Lincoln Matters: Today More than Ever, co-authored with Lincoln cult
leader Harold Holzer). Like the Straussians, they too have found the false
legend of Abraham Lincoln to be useful to their political agenda, whether it is
socialism, as with Foner, or welfare statism, as with Goodwin and Cuomo.
In the academic world there
exists a Church of Lincoln, but that church is built of straw (perhaps manure
would be more accurate). The religious rhetoric that is used to describe
Dishonest Abe, who was probably an atheist, is misleading and useless as far as
understanding American history is concerned. That of course is the purpose of
The overwhelming majority
of works on Lincoln judge him by his words and not his deeds. Any
politician could be made to look like a saint with that methodology. And
when some of his more dastardly deeds, such as micromanaging the waging of war
on fellow citizens, are mentioned they are always obscured by a mountain of
hollow excuses, rationales, cover-ups, and justifications.
The Lincoln cultists and
court historians fancy themselves as gatekeepers of The Official Truth. They
connive, network, and politic to censor opposing viewpoints, and often behave in
a crude and boorish manner in doing so. Readers of LewRockwell.com know all
about their hysterical and uncouth reaction to The Real Lincoln. Many of
the same characters reacted just as hysterically (and foolishly) to Tom Woodsí
Incorrect Guide to American History.
But the gatekeepers are
failing. The Gate is beginning to rust. My new book, Lincoln
Unmasked: What Youíre Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe, released
on October 10, is designed to quicken the rate of oxidization.
After a very brief summary
of some of the key points that I made in The Real Lincoln, the next
seventeen chapters of Lincoln Unmasked present entirely new material that
sheds new light on "Dishonest Abe" and on the gatekeepers as well. (The final
five chapters are grouped under the heading, "The Politics of the Lincoln
Many of the most famous
quotes of Lincoln are proven fakes, for example. He never even said "You can
fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but
you can not fool all the people all the time." The Lincoln cultists and court
historians use many of these fake quotes to present a false image of their
I also devote a chapter to
the meeting Lincoln had with a number of free black men in which he implored
them to lead by example and migrate to Liberia, in Africa. Fortunately for them,
they ignored his plea.
Lincoln was a white
supremacist all his life (as were most white people of his era) and it was
actions such as this that caused some of the most prominent abolitionists to
vigorously denounce him and his regime as phonies and fakes with regard to their
pronouncements about human freedom. I devote a chapter to such denunciations by
the great libertarian/abolitionist from Massachusetts, Lysander Spooner.
One of the most insidious
acts of the gatekeepers is keeping Americans from understanding their true
history as a people. The Jeffersonian, statesí rights tradition, for example,
has been whitewashed from the history books thanks to the efforts of several
generations of gatekeepers and court historians. I explain the truth about
statesí rights, which was an important Northern as well as a Southern political
doctrine prior to 1865. I also explain some of Dishonest Abeís Big Lies about
the doctrine and why he was truly the anti-Jefferson.
In The Real Lincoln I made
the case that Lincolnís (and the Republican Partyís) "real agenda" was the old
Hamilton/Clay mercantilist agenda of protectionist tariffs, corporate welfare,
central banking, the creation of a giant political patronage machine, and the
pursuit of an empire that would rival the British empire. Lincoln
Unmasked takes this much further and goes into more detail about the true
mercantilist origins of the Republican Party (which hasnít changed much);
Lincolnís personal corruption as a railroad industry lobbyist; the fact that he
literally owed everything, politically, to northern protectionists; and his key
role in cementing central banking into place in America. These topics were all
mentioned in The Real Lincoln, but in different ways and not in as much
detail as in Lincoln Unmasked.
Several chapters are
devoted to just how the Lincoln cultists employ the Lincoln legend to "justify"
foreign policy imperialism, "totalitarian bureaucracy" at home, the abolition of
civil liberties, blind obedience to the state, and even imprisoning opponents of
the regimeís wars. All of this is patently un-American, and the "sainted"
Lincoln is invoked to "justify" it by the Lincoln cult.
Readers of Lincoln
Unmasked will also learn that, since the publication of The Real
Lincoln, a number of books have been published by very distinguished authors
that support or confirm my analysis. This includes a book by a New York
Times editorial writer, a former U.S. Navy Secretary, a distinguished
University of Virginia historian, a liberal who writes for Harperís,
The New Yorker, and The New Republic, a "popular historian" who
has authored a dozen books, a well-known journalist, and a prominent business
historian. The "gate" really is beginning to rust.
Over the past several years
I have received hundreds (maybe thousands) of emails from people who have read
my writings about Lincolnís suspension of habeas corpus, his imprisonment of
thousands of Northern war dissenters, his shutting down of hundreds of
opposition newspapers, his not-so-hidden economic agenda, and other
well-documented facts and have asked: "Why wasnít I taught that in school?" Or,
"I was a history major in college and I never heard of that!" The chapters of
Lincoln Unmasked devoted to the gatekeepers explain why.
I have also received countless
emails asking me for reading suggestions. Lincoln Unmasked includes an
appendix on "What They Donít Want You to Read." Read the Lincoln cultists (if
you can stand it) and read some of my suggested readings, and decide for
yourself whatís true and whatís not about Dishonest Abe, his war, and his
Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mail] professor of economics at
Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real
Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary
Rivers Press/Random House). His next book, to be published in
October, is Lincoln
Unmasked: What Youíre Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe (Crown