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David Herbert Donald

Born: 1920 in Goodman, Mississippi
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: David Herbert Donald earned his masters degree in History in 1942 and his PhD in 1946 at the University of Illinois.

Biography: Majoring in history and sociology, Donald earned his bachelor degree from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He earned his PhD in 1946 under the eminent, leading Lincoln scholar, James G. Randall at the University of Illinois. Randall as a mentor had a big influence on Donald's life and career, and encouraged his protege to write his dissertation on Lincoln's law partner, William Herndon. The dissertation eventually became his first book, Lincoln's Herndon, published in 1948. The effect Randall had on Donald was later illustrated by the fact that he gave his only son the middle name Randall in honor of his former mentor. After graduating, he taught at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins and, from 1973, Harvard University. He also taught at Smith College, the University of North Wales, Princeton University, University College London and served as Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University. At Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and Harvard he trained dozens of g raduate students including Jean H. Baker, William J. Cooper, Jr., Michael Holt, Irwin Unger, and Ari Hoogenboom. He received the Pulitzer Prize twice (1961 and 1988), several honorary degrees, and served as president of the Southern Historical Association.David H. Donald was the Charles Warren Professor of American History (emeritus from 1991) at Harvard University. He wrote over thirty books, including well received biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Wolfe and Charles Sumner. He specialized in the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, and in the history of the South.

  • -- Pulitzer Prize, ''Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War''
  • -- Pulitzer Prize, ''Look Homeward

Primary Literary Genre(s): History

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers

David Herbert Donald on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

"We are Lincoln men" :
ISBN: 0743254708 OCLC: 52766031

Simon & Schuster, New York : ©2003.

Offers a new perspective on the private life of the Civil War president through an examination of his few friendships and close associations, which were marked by estrangements in the face of political differences.

  Charles Sumner and the coming of the Civil War /
ISBN: 1402218397 OCLC: 256763688

Sourcebooks, Naperville, Ill. : ©2009.

Harvard Professor David Herbert Donald traces Sumner's life in this Pulitzer-Prize winning classic about a nation careening toward Civil War.

Liberty and Union
ISBN: 9781504034036 OCLC: 936448161

A comprehensive analysis of the crisis of popular government during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras from a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize In Liberty and Union, David Herbert Donald persuasively examines one of the most tumultuous periods in American history. With the same wit, eloquence, and willingness to question received wisdom that define his acclaimed biographies of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Sumner, Donald suggests that it was the commonalities between North and South--and not their differences--that led to the earth-shattering conflict that was the Civil War and defined the chaotic years that followed. Exploring the political, social, and economic impact of the war, emancipation, Reconstruction, and westward expansion, Donald combines history and philosophy, offering a bold and thought-provoking analysis that goes far in explaining the nation we live in today. Riveting, illuminating, and provocative, Liberty and Union sheds a brilliant light on a half-century of US history and addresses a perennial problem of democratic societies all over the world: how to reconcile majority rule and minority rights.

Liberty and Union /
ISBN: 0316189499 OCLC: 4285674

Little, Brown and Co., Boston : ©1978.

ISBN: 9781439126288 OCLC: 869431225

Simon & Schuster, [Place of publication not identified] : 2011.

David Herbert Donald's Lincoln stunningly original portrait of Lincoln's life and presidency. Donald brilliantly depicts Lincoln's gradual ascent from humble beginnings in rural Kentucky to the ever- expanding political circles in Illinois, and finally to the presidency of a country divided by civil war. Donald goes beyond biography, illuminating the gradual development of Lincoln's character, chronicling his tremendous capacity for evolution and growth, thus illustrating what made it possible for a man so inexperienced and so unprepared for the presidency to become a great moral leader. In the most troubled of times, here was a man who led the country out of slavery and preserved a shattered Union -- in short, one of the greatest presidents this country has ever seen.

Lincoln /
ISBN: 068482535X OCLC: 32589068

"This fully rounded biography of America's sixteenth President is the product of Donald's half-century of study of Lincoln and his times. In preparing it, Donald has drawn more extensively than any previous writer on Lincoln's personal papers and those of his contemporaries, and he has taken full advantage of the voluminous newly discovered records of Lincoln's legal practice. He presents his findings with the same literary skill and psychological understanding exhibited in his previous biographies, which have received two Pulitzer Prizes ... Much more than a political biography, Donald's Lincoln reveals the development of the future President's character and shows how his private life helped to shape his public career. In Donald's skillful hands, Lincoln emerges as a youthful, vigorous President. One of the youngest men ever to occupy the White House, he was also the husband of an even younger wife and the father of boisterous children. We witness how Lincoln's absorption with politics disrupted his family life, and how his often tumultuous marriage affected his political career. And we see a man renowned for his storytelling and his often sidesplitting humor lapse into the periods of deep melancholy to which he was prone, not only during the dark days of the Civil War but throughout his life ... Donald's strikingly original portrait of Lincoln depicts a man who was basically passive by nature, who confessed that he did not control events but events had controlled him. Yet coupled with that fatalism was an unbounded ambition that drove him to take enormous political risks and enabled him to overcome repeated defeats. Donald shows that Lincoln was a master of ambiguity and expediency--but he also stresses that Lincoln was a great moral leader, inflexibly opposed to slavery and absolutely committed to preserving the Union."--Jacket.

Lincoln at home :
ISBN: 074320199X OCLC: 44133024

With a brief account of their first years in the White House and the complete collection of all the known letters exchanged by Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, this portrait defines the sixteenth president as a dedicated - though often a desperately busy and distracted - family man. Lincoln at Home is an intimate and rare glimpse of the president as husband and father, a cheerful man pinned to the floor while playing with his children, and a desolate man struck down with grief at the death of his son. Beyond this, we are shown a personal side of the man who managed one of the most difficult periods in American history.--Jacket.

Lincoln at home :
ISBN: 0743211421 OCLC: 53809523

Simon & Schuster, New York : 2003.

Lincoln at home :
ISBN: 091230877X OCLC: 43110467

White House Historical Association in cooperation with Thornwillow Press, Washington, D.C. : 1999.

Lincoln reconsidered :
ISBN: 9781504034029 OCLC: 936448160

First published in 1956 and revised and updated for the twenty-first century, Lincoln Reconsidered is a masterpiece of Civil War scholarship. In a dozen eloquent, witty, and incisive essays, the author of the definitive biography of Abraham Lincoln offers a fresh perspective on topics previously shrouded in myth and hagiography and brings the president's tough-mindedness, strategic acumen, and political flexibility into sharp focus.

Lincoln reconsidered :
ISBN: 0375725326 OCLC: 46336271

Vintage Books, New York : 2001.

Look homeward
ISBN: 0747501548 OCLC: 17398320

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC 1987

Look homeward :
ISBN: 0674008693 OCLC: 52278300

Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. : 2002.

A portrait of an American novelist examining the forces of his life that were intertwined with his writing and the academic and literary worlds of which he was a part.

We are Lincoln men :
ISBN: 9781416589587 OCLC: 756194575

Simon & Schuster, New York : ©2003.

Offers a new perspective on the private life of the Civil War president through an examination of his few friendships and close associations, which were marked by estrangements in the face of political differences.

Why the North won the Civil War /
ISBN: 0684825066 OCLC: 35848075

Simon & Schuster, New York, N.Y. : ©1996.

Contains six essays in which the authors examine the reasons why the North won the Civil War, providing an overview of the defeat of the Confederacy, and discussing issues of military leadership, politics, diplomacy, economics, and society.

Why The North Won The Civil War.
ISBN: 9781786251985 OCLC: 933587508

Pickle Partners Publishing, 2015.

WHY THE SOUTH LOST What led to the downfall of the Confederacy? The distinguished professors of history represented in this volume examine the following crucial factors in the South's defeat: ECONOMIC-RICHARD N. CURRENT of the University of Wisconsin attributes the victory of the North to fundamental economic superiority so great that the civilian resources of the South were dissipated under the conditions of war. MILITARY-T. HARRY WILLIAMS of Louisiana State University cites the deficiencies of Confederate strategy and military leadership, evaluating the influence on both sides of Baron Jomini, a 19th-century strategist who stressed position warfare and a rapid tactical offensive. DIPLOMATIC-NORMAN A. GRAERNER of the University of Illinois holds that the basic reason England and France decided not to intervene on the side of the South was simply that to have done so would have violated the general principle of non-intervention to which they were committed. SOCIAL-DAVID DONALD of Columbia University offers the intriguing thesis that an excess of Southern democracy killed the Confederacy. From the ordinary man in the ranks to Jefferson Davis himself, too much emphasis was placed on individual freedom and not enough on military discipline. POLITICAL-DAVID M. POTTER of Stanford University suggests that the deficiencies of President Davis as a civil and military leader turner the balance, and that the South suffered from the lack of a second well-organized political party to force its leadership into competence.