Yale don pens thrilling scenario on impeachment of Lincoln in new book
New York, July 9 (ANI): A distinguished Yale law professor and a best-selling thriller writer, who deeply admires Abraham Lincoln, has put the 16th President on trial in his new novel 'The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln".
The year is 1865 and Abraham Lincoln survives an assassination attempt, though word sweeps the nation he has died.
He did go to the theatre that April night and John Wilkes Booth did fire, but "the saviour of the nation" lives.
"I thought it would be fun to read," the New York Daily News quoted Stephen L. Carter as saying.
Two years later, Lincoln is far less revered. The Radical Republicans of his own party are brandishing constitutional challenges to put the President on trial, but at heart is their outraged conviction that Lincoln has turned his back on the freed men of the South during Reconstruction.
The idea that the same President who issued the Emancipation Proclamation wouldn't vehemently pursue equality after having fought the Civil War to free the slaves is pure fiction.
"Even when Lincoln was alive many leading abolitionists felt that he had not been as anti-slavery as he should have been and that he was not as committed to the equality of black men as he should have been," Carter said.
"He was certainly not as committed to the freedom of slaves or equality before his presidency.
"But he grew into it. There was a maturing of his conscience, if you will, which was one of the most admirable things about Lincoln's years in office," he said.
There's also the lingering question of whether Lincoln could have been impeached following the war.
It's one that's long fascinated Carter. Lincoln shut down opposing newspapers, threw reporters in jail and placed Northern cities under martial law. He also took millions from the Treasury to hand over to private citizens to buy weapons.
It's hard to imagine a modern President getting away with all that.
"In each and every case Lincoln would say, this is what I have to do to win the war," Carter said.
"When a President says I have to do this or that to win the war, how much deference do we give to that?
"Do we forgive Lincoln because he's Lincoln, or because it's a long time ago?" Caerter said.
For Carter, reducing such weighty legal issues to popular entertainment is a remedy for his day job.
He's a law professor first and foremost, who estimates that he puts 300,000 words - the equivalent of three books - down a year mostly in the form of learned papers, opinion pieces or non-fiction titles such as last year's 'The Violence of Peace: America's Wars in the Age of Obama'
By comparison, he finds writing best-selling fiction "a rest for my mind." (ANI)
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