The Fate of Liberty - Epilogue Summary & Analysis

Mark E. Neely, Jr.
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In the Epilogue, Neely returns to the historiography to flesh out comments in Chapter 8 and set the historical record straight on what can and cannot be learned about civil liberties from the Civil War. Lincoln never discusses most of the arrests described in this book, instead too heartily defending his constitutional right to order them. The Corning letter explains why dissent cannot be safely tolerated and even silence can be a crime. He speaks of habeas corpus more s a symbol of American freedom than a specific legal instrument, and this mythic approach has been followed in most history books since the Civil War.

Historical literature on civil liberties in the Civil War is meager and unsatisfying. The only book-length scholarly treatise is Randall's Constitutional Problems under Lincoln (1926). There are many noisy denunciations of Lincoln's record between the Civil War and World War I, including...

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This section contains 939 words
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