How did Abraham Lincoln, long held as a paragon of presidential bravery and principled politics, find his way to the White House? How did he become this one man great enough to risk the fate of the nation on the well-worn but cast-off notion that all men are created equal?Here award-winning historian John C. Waugh takes us on Lincoln’s road to the Civil War. From Lincoln's first public rejection of slavery to his secret arrival in the capital, from his stunning debates with Stephen Douglas to his contemplative moments considering the state of the country he loved, Waugh shows us America as Lincoln saw it and as Lincoln described it. Much of this wonderful story is told by Lincoln himself, detailing through his own writing his emergence onto the political scene and the evolution of his beliefs about the Union, the Constitution, democracy, slavery, and civil war. Waugh brings Lincoln’s path into new reliefby letting the great man tell his own story, at a depth that brings us ever closer to understanding this mysterious, complicated, truly great man.