One of the distinctive features of my book, The Real Lincoln, is that unlike almost all other books on the subject, I portray the sixteenth president as a real-life, flesh-and-blood politician. I quoted Murray Rothbard, who described Lincoln as a “master politician” which, to Rothbard, meant that he was a masterful liar, conniver, and manipulator. I also quoted the Pulitzer prize-winning Lincoln biographer, David Donald, as saying that Lincoln was “the master string puller” of Illinois politics before he ran for president. He was just as motivated by a compulsive quest for money and power as any other successful politician, I wrote.
This drew an avalanche of condemnation and calumny from the Lincoln cult, especially the “Straussian” neocons, who never seem to be able to stop raising money to erect more statues of Lincoln on college campuses and elsewhere. Even if Lincoln was a wily politician, they condescendingly pontificated, one must first be a politician before become a “statesman.”