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Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream is a book by the African American scholar and historian, Lerone Bennett, Jr., published in 2000. It attacks Abraham Lincoln and claims that his reputation as the "Great Emancipator" is undeserved.

The book has been criticized by contemporary historians who believe that Bennett ignored Lincoln's political and moral growth during the Civil War and oversimplified the complexities of the times. Historians had already demonstrated in numerous accounts that Lincoln shared many of the racial attitudes of his time. They disagreed with Bennett over his failure to recognize Lincoln's growth in office and that Lincoln was instrumental in creating the framework that brought freedom to slaves in the United States.[1][2][3]

The introduction to the book says, "[Bennett's] basic idea of the book is simple: Everything you think you know about Lincoln and race is wrong. Every schoolchild, for example, knows the story of 'the great emancipator' who freed Negroes with a stroke of the pen out of the goodness of his heart. The real Lincoln ... was a conservative politician who said repeatedly that he believed in white supremacy. Not only that: He opposed the basic principle of the Emancipation Proclamation until his death and was literally forced - Count Adam Gurowski said he was literally whipped - 'into the glory of having issued the Emancipation Proclamation,' which Lincoln drafted in such a way that it did not in and of itself free a single slave."

The book is dedicated to individuals whom Bennett calls "the real abolitionists", including Frederick Douglass, Thaddeus Stevens and Wendell Phillips. In the dedication, he praises them for "forc[ing] Lincoln into glory."

The 1988 alternate history novel "Fire on the Mountain" takes a similar view of Lincoln.

Publishing information[]

  • Bennett, Jr., Lerone. Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream. Johnson Publishing Company, 2000. ISBN 0-87485-085-1 (paperback, 2000).

External links[]


  1. McPherson, James M (2000-08-27). "Lincoln the Devil". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  2. Foner, Eric (2000-04-09). "Recent Book Reviews". Los Angeles Times Book Review. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  3. Morel, Lucas E. (Fall 2000). "Forced into Gory Lincoln Revisionism". Claremont Review of Books. The Claremont Institute. Retrieved 2007-07-26.