"Like many of you, I was a lucky grandson of four immigrant grandparents - as I was born in America. My immigrant grandfather Louis was a peddler - and a patriot, who believed, with the religious founders of our country, that America was the New Jerusalem..."
From humble roots in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Lehrman is the grandson of immigrants. He succeeded first as a Yale scholar, then grew the family business into a national company. As an economist and investment banker, he worked with several US presidents and ran for political office. Lehrman is widely recognized for founding the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History with Richard Gilder. The Institute endows the Lincoln Prize and is a leading history education nonprofit. In 2005, Lehrman received the National Humanities Medal for his groundbreaking work in history and education.
In this intimate autobiography, Lehrman gives vibrant portraits of family life, business success, political leadership and historical enterprise. Clearly written chapters focus on life's key questions. Interviews, recollections, and photographs introduce Lehrman's many influential partners and associates. Family, friends and colleagues share touching stories. Correspondence with scholars, economists and statesmen combine with archival material from his many careers.
With a direct and unmistakable style, Lehrman reveals himself from many angles, making his wide experience available to all. With its triumphs, achievements and sometimes unexpected choices, this is the story of a man on a mission.
Early in life he makes the faith of the founders his own. To celebrate and protect the American dream - so that all people might share in its success - has been the goal towards which his life's work, and this book, have all been dedicated.
In a richly documented life story of personal and professional achievement, Lehrman eagerly celebrates family, friends, partners, and colleagues. But no spirit rises higher in these pages than the spirit of his wife Louise, without whom-as he never tires of saying-none of it would have been possible.
The Sum of It All is now available through Rowman & Littlefield, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
Lincoln and Churchill:
Statesmen at War
A Renowned Historian Gives New Perspective on Statesmen at War.
Lewis E. Lehrman, a renowned historian and National Humanities Medal winner, gives new perspective on two of the greatest English - speaking statesmen - and their remarkable leadership in wars of national survival.
Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill, as commanders in chief, led their nations to victory-Lincoln in the Civil War, Churchill in World War II. They became revered leaders - statesmen for all time. Yet these two world-famous war leaders have never been seriously compared at book length. Acclaimed historian Lewis Lehrman, in his pathbreaking comparison of both statesmen, finds that Lincoln and Churchill-with very different upbringings and contrasting personalities-led their war efforts, to some extent, in similar ways. As supreme war lords, they were guided not only by principles of honor, duty, freedom, but also by the practical wisdom to know when, where, and how to apply these principles. They made mistakes which Lehrman considers carefully. But the author emphasizes that, despite setbacks, they never gave up.
Even their writings and speeches were swords in battle. Gifted literary stylists, both men relied on the written and spoken word to steel their citizens throughout desperate and prolonged wars.
Both statesmen unexpectedly left office near the end of their wars - Lincoln by the bullet, Churchill by the ballot.
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Churchill, Roosevelt & Company:
Studies in Character and Statecraft
During World War II the "special relationship" between the United States and Great Britain cemented the alliance that won the war in the West. But the ultimate victory of that partnership has obscured many of the conflicts behind Franklin Roosevelt's charm and Winston Churchill's victory signs - the clashes of principles and especially personalities between and within the leadership of the two nations.
Synthesizing an impressive variety of sources from memoirs and letters to histories and biographies, Lewis E. Lehrman explains how the Anglo-American alliance worked - and occasionally did not work by presenting portraits and case studies of the men who worked the back channels and back rooms, the generals and the admirals, the secretaries and under secretaries, ambassadors and ministers, responsible for carrying out Roosevelt's and Churchill's agendas while also pursuing their own. Such was the conduct of Joseph Kennedy, American ambassador to England often at odds with FDR; generals George C. Marshall and Dwight D. Eisenhower; spymasters William Donovan and William Stephenson; Secretary of State Cordell Hull, whom FDR frequently bypassed in favor of Under Secretary Sumner Welles; the Soviet spy in the leadership cadre of the US Treasury, Harry Dexter White, and his struggle with Lord Keynes; British ambassadors Lord Lothian and Lord Halifax; and, above them all, Roosevelt and Churchill. The President and the Prime Minister had the difficult task, not always well - performed, of managing their subordinates. Churchill and Roosevelt frequently chose to conduct foreign policy directly between themselves, and with Stalin.
Scrupulous in its research and fair in its judgments, Lehrman's book reveals the personal diplomacy, the character and statecraft, at the core of the leadership of the Anglo-American alliance.
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Lincoln at Peoria:
The Turning Point
To understand President Abraham Lincoln, one must understand the extraordinary antislavery speech Lincoln delivered at Peoria on October 16, 1854. This three hour address marked the turning point in Lincoln's political pilgrimage, dramatically altering his political career and, as a result, the history of America.
Lincoln opposed any further extension of slavery in the American republic, holding to the Declaration of Independence's universal principle that "all men are created equal." In response to the Kansas - Nebraska Act, Lincoln launched his antislavery campaign, delivering speeches in Springfield and Peoria.
The Peoria address was rigorous, logical, and grounded in historical research. It marked Lincoln's reentry into politics and his preparation for the presidency in 1861. The speech catapulted Lincoln into the national debates over slavery and into national politics for the rest of his life.
Though historians and biographers have noted its importance, Lincoln's speech at Peoria has not received the attention it deserves. Lincoln at Peoria offers a complete examination of the speech that changed the course of our nation.
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Money and the Coming World Order
Today, national economic policy making is largely concerned with the problems of unemployment and inflation. More precisely, it is their simultaneous combination in nearly all Western economies which preoccupies policy makers. As these problems grow worse, the stakes rise higher. We know that either severe unemployment or sustained inflation, let alone both together, can be expected to have the most serious consequences for liberal democracy.
Almost four decades ago, during America's worst economic period since the Great Depression, I wrote the words above in the first edition of this book (1976). Now, in 2012, one is tempted to quote the inimitable Yogi Berra: this is deja vu all over again.
Thus, the questions arise: Will the perennial global monetary crisis and the century-old age of inflation be underway forty years from now? Will the global economy have succumbed to national rivalries, mercantilism, currency wars, financial disorder and entropy? Or, will monetary order have been restored by the leading nations of the world in their own self-interest? The passage of almost forty years has not changed my mind; there is a necessary and sufficient solution to the problem of financial disorder. My conviction has only grown deeper that American and world prosperity depend on monetary reform, Federal Reserve reform, and restoration of international monetary order. American public and private finances have been sustained during the past generation by running down the immense capital laid up for us by centuries of frugal, enterprising forbearers. This liquidation of national capital for current, unrestrained, consumption may have a long, but finite life. The endgame is financial reform or national bankruptcy. National bankruptcy or its equivalent (systemic currency depreciation) is not inevitable. Monetary reform, led by America, is still plausible, especially because monetary reform has again become a national political issue.
— Lewis E. Lehrman, 2012
Money and the Coming World Order reveals the parallels between past and present and demonstrates the need for a Gold Standard now.