Second Inaugural Address
Abraham Lincoln’s

Written by award-winning author Liz Sonneborn, With Malice Toward None explores the history, language, and cultural legacy of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. With a lively narrative and many extras, including glossaries, timelines, and fascinating sidebars, it will be the best source available for junior high and high school students and their teachers looking for a readable, brief introduction to arguably Lincoln’s greatest speech. With Malice Toward None is specifically written for students and educators new to the Common Core standards, which require that nearly all eleventh and twelfth grade students be able to analyze the “historical and literary significance” of this important document.

a new e-book available from in January 2012
about the authorhttp://www.lizsonneborn.comshapeimage_6_link_0

On March 4, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was sworn in for his second term as president of the United States. The event marked an unexpected and hard-won triumph for Lincoln. With Union forces struggling to defeat the Confederacy on the battlefield, no one, including Lincoln himself, had believed he would be reelected. But news of Union victories restored the voters’ faith in Lincoln, who won the 1864 election in a near landslide. As relieved as he was by his reelection, Lincoln was far more thankful to learn from his generals that they were on the verge of finally winning the Civil War.

As Lincoln addressed the nation at his second inaugural, most Americans expected him to celebrate his victory at the polls and the Union’s imminent victory in the war. Instead, he delivered a brief and somber speech, considered by many scholars as the greatest ever penned by an American president. In his stirring second inaugural, Lincoln painted the war as God’s wrath for the sin of slavery, one shared by both the North and the South. Urging every American to embrace “malice toward none” and “charity toward all,” the speech offered a vision of how the broken nation could begin to heal itself through humility and forgiveness.

This site was written and created by Liz Sonneborn, the author of more than ninety books for young readers. Specializing in American history, her titles include The American West (Scholastic, 2002), The California Gold Rush (Chelsea House, 2008), The American Indian Experience (Twenty-First Century Books (2010) and The United States Constitution (Heinemann, 2013). To learn more about Liz and her books, you can visit her website at

“with charity toward all”
“With Malice toward None”

Copyright 2012

With Malice Toward None by Liz Sonneborn