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Lincoln's Code

The Laws of War in American History
Witt, John Fabian (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Lincoln's Code
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"In the fateful closing days of 1862, just three weeks before Emancipation, Abraham Lincoln's top military advisors commissioned a code of rules to govern the armies of the United States in a newly intensified war effort. The code Lincoln issued the next spring helped shape the remaining two years of Civil War. Its rules on torture, prisoners of war, assassination, and more quickly became foundations of the modern laws of war and today's Geneva Conventions. Yet the hidden story of Lincoln's code, and of the decades of controversy that lay behind it, has never been told. In this masterful and strikingly original history, John Witt charts the alternately troubled and triumphant course of the laws of war in America from the Founding Founders to the dawn of the modern era, revealing the history of a code that reshaped the laws of war the world over. Ranging from the Revolution to the War of 1812, from war with Mexico to the Civil War, from Indian wars to the brutal counterinsurgency campaign in the Philippines, Witt tells a story that features presidents as well as men in the throes of battle, one that spans war-makers and pacifists, Indians and slaves. In a time of heated controversy about the nation's conduct in the war on terror, Lincoln's Code is a compelling story of ideals under pressure and a landmark contribution to our understanding of the American experience. "-- Provided by publisher.
Authors: Witt, John Fabian
Title: Lincoln's code
the laws of war in American history
Publisher: New York : Free Press, 2012
Edition: 1st Free Press hardcover ed
Characteristics: viii, 498 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill. ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: John Fabian Witt
Contents: The rights of humanity
The rules of civilized warfare
A false feeling of mercy
Rules of wrong
We don't practise the law of nations
Blood is the rich dew of history
Act of justice
To save the country
Smashing things to the sea
Soldiers and gentlemen
Glenn's brigade
Epilogue
Summary: "In the fateful closing days of 1862, just three weeks before Emancipation, Abraham Lincoln's top military advisors commissioned a code of rules to govern the armies of the United States in a newly intensified war effort. The code Lincoln issued the next spring helped shape the remaining two years of Civil War. Its rules on torture, prisoners of war, assassination, and more quickly became foundations of the modern laws of war and today's Geneva Conventions. Yet the hidden story of Lincoln's code, and of the decades of controversy that lay behind it, has never been told. In this masterful and strikingly original history, John Witt charts the alternately troubled and triumphant course of the laws of war in America from the Founding Founders to the dawn of the modern era, revealing the history of a code that reshaped the laws of war the world over. Ranging from the Revolution to the War of 1812, from war with Mexico to the Civil War, from Indian wars to the brutal counterinsurgency campaign in the Philippines, Witt tells a story that features presidents as well as men in the throes of battle, one that spans war-makers and pacifists, Indians and slaves. In a time of heated controversy about the nation's conduct in the war on terror, Lincoln's Code is a compelling story of ideals under pressure and a landmark contribution to our understanding of the American experience. "-- Provided by publisher.
ISBN: 1416569839
9781416569831
Branch Call Number: 343.7301 W827L 2012
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Headings: War (International law) History Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 Military leadership United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 War and emergency legislation United States History War History Military law United States History
Topical Term: War (International law)
War and emergency legislation
War
Military law
LCCN: 2012006187
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Library Staff

A striking work examining how orders issued by President Lincoln to govern conduct on battlefields and in prisons during the Civil War have shaped modern laws of armed conflict. (Pulitzer Prize citation).


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