As 1862 began, the American republic was reeling. The federal government appeared overwhelmed, the U.S. Treasury was broke, and the Confederacy kept winning on the battlefield.
To a remarkable degree the survival of the country depended on the judgment, cunning, and resilience of the unschooled country lawyer who had recently been elected president.
David Von Drehle, author of the current bestseller Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year, examines the pivotal events of 1862 on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
By the end of 1862 the Civil War was still raging, but the tide had turned. Under Lincoln's leadership the Union generals who would win the war had at last emerged. The Confederate forces had suffered key losses that would lead to their doom. The blueprint of modern America -- an expanding colossus of industrial and financial might -- had been indelibly inked.
And Lincoln had been forged into a singular leader.
Von Drehle's presentation is part of the 2013 Hail to the Chiefs Series on the American Presidency made possible by Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Legacy
Fund Grants to the Truman Library Institute and to the Kansas City Public
Library. This series is co-sponsored by KCUR's Up to Date.
Von Drehle lives in Kansas City and writes for Time magazine. He has reported and edited for the Denver Post, Miami Herald, and Washington Post. Among his books are Why They Fought: The Real Reason for the Civil War, Triangle: The Fire That Changed America, and Among the Lowest of the Dead: The Culture of Capital Punishment.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407.