Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Allen Carl Guelzo  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1953 in Yokohama, Japan.

-- Website --
-- Allen Carl Guelzo on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Guelzo writes extensively about an Illinois subject of interest - Abraham Lincoln.

Biographical and Professional Information

Allen Carl Guelzo earned an MA and PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Henry R. Luce III Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College, where he serves as Director of the Civil War Era Studies Program. He began work in 1996 on an 'intellectual biography' of Lincoln, ''Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President'', which won the Lincoln Prize for 2000 and the 2000 Book Prize of the Abraham Lincoln Institute. He followed this with ''Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America'', which became the first two-time winner of the Lincoln Prize and the Book Prize of the Lincoln Institute.Since Guelzo's only connection to Illinois is the books he wrote about Abraham Lincoln, these are his only books listed on this website. For a list of his other books, go to: [].

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates that Defined America
ISBN: 0743273206

Simon & Schuster. 2008

An account of the famous open-air 1858 Senate election debates between Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln provides insight into their political rivalry while gauging mid-nineteenth-century issues and how they affected local and presidential campaigns. 30,000 first printing.

Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (Library of Religious Biography (LRB))
ISBN: 0802842933

Eerdmans. 2002

An enlightening "intellectual biography" of Lincoln, Allen Guelzo's peerless account of America's most celebrated president explores the role of ideas in Lincoln's life, treating him as a serious thinker deeply involved in the nineteenth-century debates over politics, religion, and culture. Written with passion and dramatic impact, Guelzo's masterful study offers a revealing new perspective on a man whose life was in many ways a paradox.

Since its original publication in 1999, Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President has garnered numerous accolades, not least the prestigious 2000 Lincoln Prize. As journalist Richard N. Ostling has noted, "Much has been written about Lincoln's belief and disbelief," but Guelzo's extraordinary account "goes deeper."

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America
ISBN: 0743221826

Simon & Schuster. 2004

An authoritative analysis of the Emancipation Proclamation addresses such issues as its unfavorable comparison to more eloquent Lincoln addresses and its questionable reflection of Lincoln's character, drawing on historical documents to reveal the president's purposes in planning and issuing the Proclamation. 35,000 first printing.

Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas
ISBN: 0809328615

Southern Illinois University Press. 2009

Abraham Lincoln was a skilled politician, an inspirational leader, and a man of humor and pathos. What many may not realize is how much he was also a man of ideas. Despite the most meager of formal educations, Lincoln’ s tremendous intellectual curiosity drove him into the circle of Enlightenment philosophy and democratic political ideology. And from these, Lincoln developed a set of political convictions that guided him throughout his life and his presidency. Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas, a compilation of ten essays from Lincoln scholar, Allen C. Guelzo, uncovers the hidden sources of Lincoln’ s ideas and examines the beliefs that directed his career and brought an end to slavery and the Civil War.

These essays reveal Lincoln to be a man of impressive intellectual probity and depth as well as a man of great contradictions. He was an apostle of freedom who did not believe in human free will a champion of the Constitution who had to step outside of it in order to save it a man of many acquaintances and admirers, but few friends a man who opposed slavery but also opposed the abolition of it a man of prudence who took more political risks than any other president.

Guelzo explores the many faces of Lincoln’ s ideas, and especially the influence of the Founding Fathers and the great European champions of democracy. And he links the 16th president’ s struggles with the issues of race, emancipation, religion, and civil liberties to the challenges these issues continue to offer to Americans today.

Lincoln played many roles in his life— lawyer, politician, president— but in each he was driven by a core of values, convictions, and beliefs about economics, society, and democracy. Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas is a broad and exciting survey of the ideas that made Lincoln great, just as we celebrate the bicentennial his birth.

Lincoln: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
ISBN: 0195367804

Oxford University Press. 2009

Beneath the surface of the apparently untutored and deceptively frank Abraham Lincoln ran private tunnels of self-taught study, a restless philosophical curiosity, and a profound grasp of the fundamentals of democracy. Now, in Lincoln: A Very Short Introduction, the award-winning Lincoln authority Allen C. Guelzo offers a penetrating look into the mind of one of our greatest presidents.

If Lincoln was famous for reading aloud from joke books, Guelzo shows that he also plunged deeply into the mainstream of nineteenth-century liberal democratic thought. Guelzo takes us on a wide-ranging exploration of problems that confronted Lincoln and liberal democracy--equality, opportunity, the rule of law, slavery, freedom, peace, and his legacy. The book sets these problems and Lincoln's responses against the larger world of American and trans-Atlantic liberal democracy in the 19th century, comparing Lincoln not just to Andrew Jackson or John Calhoun, but to British thinkers such as Richard Cobden, Jeremy Bentham, and John Bright, and to French observers Alexis de Tocqueville and Franois Guizot. The Lincoln we meet here is an Enlightenment figure who struggled to create a common ground between a people focused on individual rights and a society eager to establish a certain moral, philosophical, and intellectual bedrock. Lincoln insisted that liberal democracy had a higher purpose, which was the realization of a morally right political order. But how to interject that sense of moral order into a system that values personal self-satisfaction--"the pursuit of happiness"--remains a fundamental dilemma even today.

Abraham Lincoln was a man who, according to his friend and biographer William Henry Herndon, "lived in the mind." Guelzo paints a marvelous portrait of this Lincoln--Lincoln the man of ideas--providing new insights into one of the giants of American history.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.


  • 2000 Lincoln Prize , ''Abraham Lincoln

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