A review of


How President Lincoln Constructed the Great American Economy

Lincoln's Practical Ideals

by David Meyer

Abraham Lincoln was an economic and infrastructure visionary, according to this well-researched and surprising historical account.

History remembers Abraham Lincoln as the Great Emancipator. But his legacy goes far beyond waging and winning the Civil War, prolific author John F. Wasik asserts in this intriguing study. Wasik presents Lincoln as the architect of a populist and progressive economic platform – “Lincolnomics” – that championed a central currency, a national banking system and public investment in economic development. Wasik argues that, while Lincoln’s financial initiatives were far from perfect, they represent a significant, overlooked part of the president’s contribution to the American republic.


Lincoln, Wasik explains, thought the US economy advantaged the few and disadvantaged the many. Lincoln advocated for more opportunities to all. He valued public investment in education and innovation, as well as a strong federal government – all radical ideas during his time.

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