America: The Redeemer Nation
— in which the administration of Abraham Lincoln is re-imagined as extended exercise in Both Siderism as filtered through a highly redacted version of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.
From Mr. Brooks:
Slavery, Lincoln says, was not a Southern institution, it was an American institution, weaving through our common history for 250 years. The scourge of war, which purges this sin, falls on both sides. Lincoln fought any sense of self-righteous superiority the Northerners might harbor.
What Mr. Brooks doesn’t bother to mention is that Lincoln had the freedom and flexibility to be generous and speak of reconciliation precisely because he had spent the previous four years destroying the Confederacy. Killing their armies. Sinking their ships. Burning their crops. Laying waste to their cities. This is the central fact of the presidency of Abraham Lincoln besides which all others recede into footnotes.
Less than two months after Mr. Lincoln was elected, the secession of the South and the formation of the traitor Confederacy had begun over the issue of slavery.
A month after Mr. Lincoln was sworn into office, Confederate artillery opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor over the issue of slavery.
And four years later, on the day Mr. Lincoln delivered his stirring Second Inaugural, the bloodiest war in American history was slowly drawing to a close. The Confederacy had been smashed, what remained of its shattered armies were in a state of endless, slogging retreat. And one month after Mr. Lincoln delivered his Second Inaugural, Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate Army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
Less than a week later, Mr. Lincoln would be assassinated by Confederate sympathizer, John Wilkes Booth.
And yet, in Mr. Brooks’ Both Siderist version of America history, the explicit causes of the Civil War and its aftermath hardly exist at all.