A reassessment of Abraham Lincoln’s indispensable Secretary of the Treasury: a leading proponent for black rights both before and during his years in cabinet and later as Chief Justice of the United States.
Mr. Stahr convincingly makes the case for Chase’s greatness without neglecting his shortcomings, chief of which was a burning ambition to become president ... Stahr convincingly refutes the commonly held belief that Chase sought to subvert President Lincoln in the interest of his own presidential nomination in 1864. On the contrary, Mr. Stahr demonstrates Chase’s continued loyalty and admiration for Lincoln ... Mr. Stahr weaves Chase’s personal and political lives together deftly, revealing for readers the whole man ... as powerful and moving a political biography as I have read. I learned a great deal from it, and I warmly commend it to those seeking a fuller understanding of the turbulent American 19th century and the critical early decades in the struggle for black rights.
... a detailed, in-depth accounting of the life of Salmon P. Chase ... Drawing heavily from Chase's diary, Stahr gives a relentless but readable day-by-day account of everything Chase did, said, or wrote ... While Stahr doesn't offer new insight on Chase's place in history, he does show how Chase brought order to U.S. finances with such reforms as establishing a single national currency and laying the foundation for a system of national banks ... Strongly recommended for university and large public libraries, for readers learning the dynamics of abolitionist politics and the inner workings of government and the courts during the Civil War era.