After four years of unspeakable horror and sacrifice on both sides, the Civil War was about to end. On March 4th, 1865, at his second inauguration, President Lincoln did not offer the North the victory speech it yearned for, nor did he blame the South solely for the sin of slavery. Calling the whole nation to account, Lincoln offered a moral framework for peace and reconciliation. The speech was greeted with indifference, misunderstanding, and hostility by many in the Union. But it was a great work, the victorious culmination of Lincoln's own lifelong struggle with the issue of slavery, and he well understood it to be his most profound speech. Eventually this "with malice toward none" address would be accepted and revered as one of the greatest in the nation's history. Ronald C. White's compelling description of Lincoln's articulation of our nation's struggle and the suffering of all — North, South, soldier, slave — offers new insight into Lincoln's own hard-won victory over doubt and his promise of authority and passion. These words, delivered only weeks before his assassination, were the culmination of Lincoln's moral and rhetorical genius.