Best Books About Abraham Lincoln
Note: This page is still under construction. All links underlined in blue work as stated. Links in Black link to Amazon page with titles to multiple books on this President
Donald brilliantly depicts Lincoln’s gradual ascent from humble beginnings in rural Kentucky to the ever-expanding political circles in Illinois, and finally to the presidency of a country divided by civil war. Donald goes beyond biography, illuminating the gradual development of Lincoln’s character, chronicling his tremendous capacity for evolution and growth, thus illustrating what made it possible for a man so inexperienced and so unprepared for the presidency to become a great moral leader. In the most troubled of times, here was a man who led the country out of slavery and preserved a shattered Union—in short, one of the greatest presidents this country has ever seen.
Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war. That Lincoln succeeded, Goodwin demonstrates, was the result of a character that had been forged by experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.
This Book, a publishing event of the first magnitude, will become the standard one-volume life of Lincoln for a generation to come. ‘Thomas’s Lincoln’ will soon become as familiar a phrase in literate households as ‘Charnwood’s Lincoln’ was in our parents’ time. In the intervening thirty-five years, experts have examined many phases of the Great Emancipator. But none has drawn off to catch the whole man, Benjamin P. Thomas has done.
Focusing on the crucial years between 1831 and 1842, Wilson’s skillful analysis of the testimonies and writings of Lincoln’s contemporaries reveals the individual behind the legends. We see Lincoln as a boy: not the dutiful son studying by firelight, but the stubborn rebel determined to make something of himself. We see him as a young man: not the ascendant statesman, but the canny local politician who was renowned for his talents in wrestling and storytelling (as well as for his extensive store of off-color jokes). Wilson also reconstructs Lincoln’s frequently anguished personal life: his religious skepticism, recurrent bouts of depression, and difficult relationships with women – from Ann Rutledge to Mary Owens to Mary Todd.
By examining both the address and Lincoln in their historical moment and cultural frame, Wills breathes new life into words we thought we knew, and reveals much about a president so mythologized but often misunderstood. Wills shows how Lincoln came to change the world and to effect an intellectual revolution, how his words had to and did complete the work of the guns, and how Lincoln wove a spell that has not yet been broken.
Through meticulous research of the newly completed Lincoln Legal Papers, as well as of recently discovered letters and photographs, White provides a portrait of Lincoln’s personal, political, and moral evolution. White shows us Lincoln as a man who would leave a trail of thoughts in his wake, jotting ideas on scraps of paper and filing them in his top hat or the bottom drawer of his desk; a country lawyer who asked questions in order to figure out his own thinking on an issue, as much as to argue the case; a hands-on commander in chief who, as soldiers and sailors watched in amazement, commandeered a boat and ordered an attack on Confederate shore batteries at the tip of the Virginia peninsula; a man who struggled with the immorality of slavery and as president acted publicly and privately to outlaw it forever; and finally, a president involved in a religious odyssey who wrote, for his own eyes only, a profound meditation on “the will of God” in the Civil War that would become the basis of his finest address.
Written by a native of England and originally published in 1916, this biography is a rare blend of beautiful prose and profound historical insight. Charnwood’s study of Lincoln’s statesmanship introduced generations of Americans to the life and politics of Lincoln and the author’s observations are so comprehensive and well-supported that any serious study of Lincoln must respond to his conclusions.
In the first multi-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln to be published in decades, Lincoln scholar Michael Burlingame offers a fresh look at the life of one of America’s greatest presidents. Incorporating the field notes of earlier biographers, along with decades of research in multiple manuscript archives and long-neglected newspapers, this remarkable work will both alter and reinforce our current understanding of America’s sixteenth president.
James McPherson’s fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War–the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry–and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself–the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson’s new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union’s victory.
From acclaimed biographer Fred Kaplan comes an illuminating look at the life of Abraham Lincoln that chronicles his genius with language.
Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness by Joshua Wolf Shenk
Giving shape to the deep depression that pervaded Lincoln’s adult life, Joshua Wolf Shenk’s Lincoln’s Melancholy reveals how this illness influenced both the president’s character and his leadership. Lincoln forged a hard path toward mental health from the time he was a young man. Shenk draws from historical record, interviews with Lincoln scholars, and contemporary research on depression to understand the nature of his unhappiness. In the process, he discovers that the President’s coping strategies—among them, a rich sense of humor and a tendency toward quiet reflection—ultimately helped him to lead the nation through its greatest turmoil.
As we celebrate the bicentennial of Lincoln?s birth, this study by preeminent, bestselling Civil War historian James M. McPherson provides a rare, fresh take on one of the most enigmatic figures in American history. Tried by War offers a revelatory (and timely) portrait of leadership during the greatest crisis our nation has ever endured. Suspenseful and inspiring, this is the story of how Lincoln, with almost no previous military experience before entering the White House, assumed the powers associated with the role of commander in chief, and through his strategic insight and will to fight changed the course of the war and saved the Union.
An enlightening “intellectual biography” of Lincoln, Allen Guelzo’s peerless account of America’s most celebrated president explores the role of ideas in Lincoln’s life, treating him as a serious thinker deeply involved in the nineteenth-century debates over politics, religion, and culture. Written with passion and dramatic impact, Guelzo’s masterful study offers a revealing new perspective on a man whose life was in many ways a paradox.
Originally published in six volumes, Sandburg’s Abraham Lincoln was called “the greatest historical biography of our generation.” Sandburg distilled this work into one volume that became the definitive life of Lincoln. Index; photographs.
Considered one of the best treatments of the presidency of Abraham Lincoln of its time, this portrait of the man and his administration of the United States at the moment of its greatest upheaval is both intimate and scholarly.
William H. Herndon aspired to write a faithful portrait of his friend and law partner, Abraham Lincoln, based on his own observations and on hundreds of letters and interviews he had compiled for the purpose. Even more importantly, he was determined to present Lincoln as a man, rather than a saint, and to reveal things that the prevailing Victorian conventions said should be left out of the biography of a great national hero. A variety of obstacles kept Herndon from writing his book, however, and not until he found a collaborator in Jesse W. Weik did the biography begin to take shape. It finally appeared in 1889, to decidedly mixed reviews. Though controversial from the outset, Herndon’s Lincoln nonetheless established itself as a classic, and remains, as Don E. Fehrenbacher declared, the most influential biography of Lincoln ever published.
“Lincoln at Cooper Union” explores Lincoln’s most influential and widely reported pre-presidential address — an extraordinary appeal by the western politician to the eastern elite that propelled him toward the Republican nomination for president. Delivered in New York in February 1860, the Cooper Union speech dispelled doubts about Lincoln’s suitability for the presidency, and reassured conservatives of his moderation while reaffirming his opposition to slavery to Republican progressives.Award-winning Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer places Lincoln and his speech in the context of the times — an era of racism, politicized journalism, and public oratory as entertainment — and shows how the candidate framed the speech as an opportunity to continue his famous “debates” with his archrival Democrat Stephen A. Douglas on the question of slavery. The Cooper Union speech, which was carefully researched by Lincoln and refers often to the Founders and authors of the Constitution, is an antislavery lecture, capped by a ringing warning to would-be secessionists in the South. It reaches its climax with the assurance that “right makes might.” Long held, inaccurately, to be an appeal to the conservatives, Holzer presents Lincoln’s speech as a masterly combination of scholarship, a brief for equality and democracy, and a rallying cry to the country and the Republican party.Holzer describes the enormous risk Lincoln took by appearing in New York, where he exposed himself to the country’s most critical audience and took on Republican senator William Henry Seward of New York, the front-runner, in his own backyard. Then he recounts the brilliant and innovative public relations campaign, as Lincolntook the speech “on the road” in his successful quest for the presidency.
Selected as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, this landmark work gives us a definitive account of Lincoln’s lifelong engagement with the nation’s critical issue: American slavery. A master historian, Eric Foner draws Lincoln and the broader history of the period into perfect balance. We see Lincoln, a pragmatic politician grounded in principle, deftly navigating the dynamic politics of antislavery, secession, and civil war. Lincoln’s greatness emerges from his capacity for moral and political growth.
Professor Donald’s remarkable book offers a fresh way of looking at Abraham Lincoln, both as a man who needed friendship and as a leader who understood the importance of friendship in the management of men. Donald penetrates Lincoln’s mysterious reserve to offer a new picture of the president’s inner life and to explain his unsurpassed political skills.
James McPherson has emerged as one of America’s finest historians. Battle Cry of Freedom, his Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the Civil War, was a national bestseller that Hugh Brogan, in The New York Times Book Review, called “history writing of the highest order.” In that volume, McPherson gathered in the broad sweep of events, the political, social, and cultural forces at work during the Civil War era. Now, in Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution, he offers a series of thoughtful and engaging essays on aspects of Lincoln and the war that have rarely been discussed in depth.
To most Americans, Abraham Lincoln is a monolithic figure, the Great Emancipator and Savior of the Union, beloved by all. In Gore Vidal’s Lincoln we meet Lincoln the man and Lincoln the political animal, the president who entered a besieged capital where most of the population supported the South and where even those favoring the Union had serious doubts that the man from Illinois could save it. Far from steadfast in his abhorrence of slavery, Lincoln agonizes over the best course of action and comes to his great decision only when all else seems to fail. As the Civil War ravages his nation, Lincoln must face deep personal turmoil, the loss of his dearest son, and the harangues of a wife seen as a traitor for her Southern connections. Brilliantly conceived, masterfully executed, Gore Vidal’s Lincoln allows the man to breathe again.
Abraham Lincoln began his presidency admitting that he knew “but little of ships,” but he quickly came to preside over the largest national armada to that time, not eclipsed until World War I. Written by naval historian Craig L. Symonds, Lincoln and His Admirals unveils an aspect of Lincoln’s presidency unexamined by historians until now, revealing how he managed the men who ran the naval side of the Civil War, and how the activities of the Union Navy ultimately affected the course of history.
Lincoln’s death, like his life, was an event of epic proportions. When the president was struck down at his moment of triumph, writes Merrill Peterson, “sorrow–indescribable sorrow” swept the nation. After lying in state in Washington, Lincoln’s body was carried by a special funeral train to Springfield, Illinois, stopping in major cities along the way; perhaps a million people viewed the remains as memorial orations rang out and the world chorused its sincere condolences. It was the apotheosis of the martyred President–the beginning of the transformation of a man into a mythic hero.
As a defender of national unity, a leader in war, and the emancipator of slaves, Abraham Lincoln lays ample claim to being the greatest of our presidents. But the story of his rise to greatness is as complex as it is compelling. In this superb, prize-winning biography, acclaimed historian Richard Carwardine examines Lincoln’s dramatic political journey, from his early years in the Illinois legislature to his nation-shaping years in the White House. Here, Carwardine combines a new perspective with a compelling narrative to deliver a fresh look at one of the pillars of American politics. He probes the sources of Lincoln’s moral and political philosophy and uses his groundbreaking research to cut through the myth and expose the man behind it.
Russell Freedman begins with a lively account of Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood, his career as a country lawyer, and his courtship and marriage to Mary Todd. Then the author focuses on the presidential years (1861 to 1865), skillfullly explaining the many complex issues Lincoln grappled with as he led a deeply divided nation through the Civil War. The book’s final chapter is a moving account of that tragic evening in Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. Concludes with a sampling of Lincoln writings and a detailed list of Lincoln historical sites.
The very roughness of Lincoln’s appearance made him seem all the more common, one of us―as did his sense of humor about his own awkward physical nature. Nineteenth-century African Americans felt deep affection for their “liberator” as a “homely” man who did not hold himself apart. During Reconstruction, Southerners felt a nostalgia for the humility of Lincoln, whom they envisioned as a “conciliator.” Later, teachers glorified Lincoln as a symbol of nationhood that would appeal to poor immigrants. Monument makers focused not only on the man’s gigantic body but also on his nationalist efforts to save the Union, downplaying his emancipation of the slaves.
Although the private lives of political couples have in our era become front-page news, the true story of this extraordinary and tragic first family has never been fully told. The Lincolns eclipses earlier accounts with riveting new information that makes husband and wife, president and first lady, come alive in all their proud accomplishments and earthy humanity. Award-winning biographer and poet Daniel Mark Epstein gives a fresh close-up view of the couple’s life in Springfield, Illinois (of their twenty-two years of marriage, all but six were spent there), and dramatizes with stunning immediacy how the Lincolns’ ascent to the White House brought both dazzling power and the slow, secret unraveling of the couple’s unique bond.
Drawing on the latest interpretive and methodological advances in historical scholarship, The Young Eagle: The Rise of Abraham Lincoln reexamines the young adult life of America’s sixteenth president.
This is the story of the events leading up to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and and the events following it.
Abraham Lincoln towers above the others who have held the office of president―the icon of greatness, the pillar of strength whose words bound up the nation’s wounds. His presidency is the hinge on which American history pivots, the time when the young republic collapsed of its own contradictions and a new birth of freedom, sanctified by blood, created the United States we know today. His story has been told many times, but never by a man who himself sought the office of president and contemplated the awesome responsibilities that come with it.
In Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America, historian William Gienapp provides a remarkably concise, up-to-date, and vibrant biography of the most revered figure in United States history. While the heart of the book focuses on the Civil War, Gienapp begins with a finely etched portrait of Lincoln’s early life, from pioneer farm boy to politician and lawyer in Springfield, to his stunning election as sixteenth president of the United States. Students will see how Lincoln grew during his years in office, how he developed a keen aptitude for military strategy and displayed enormous skill in dealing with his generals, and how his war strategy evolved from a desire to preserve the Union to emancipation and total war.
Abraham Lincoln has long dominated the pantheon of American presidents. From his lavish memorial in Washington and immoralization on Mount Rushmore, one might assume he was a national hero rather than a controversial president who came close to losing his 1864 bid for reelection. In Abraham Lincoln and the Forge of National Memory, Barry Schwartz aims at these contradictions in his study of Lincoln’s reputation, from the president’s death through the industrial revolution to his apotheosis during the Progressive Era and First World War.
This striking portrait of Abraham Lincoln found in this book is drawn entirely from the writing of his contemporaries and extends from his political beginnings in Springfield to his assassination. It reveals a more severely beleaguered, less godlike, and finally a richer Lincoln than has come through many of the biographies of Lincoln written at a distance after his death. To those who are familiar only with the various retouchedversions of Lincoln’s life, Abraham Lincoln: A Press Portrait will be a welcome-if sometimes surprising-addition to the literature surrounding the man who is perhaps the central figure in all of American history. The brutality, indeed that malignancy of some of the treatment Lincoln received at the hands of the press may well shock those readers who believe the second half of the twentieth century has a monopoly on the journalism of insult, outrage, and indignation. That Lincoln acted with the calm and clarity he did under the barrage of such attacks can only enhance his stature as one of the great political leaders of any nation at any time.
An essential book for any student of Lincoln and American history, Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths is acclaimed Lincoln biographer Stephen B. Oates’s unique exploration of America’s sixteenth president in reality and memory. In this multifaceted portrait, Oates, “the most popular historical interpreter of Lincoln” (Gabor S. Boritt, New York Times Book Review), exposes the human side of the great and tragic president—including his depression, his difficulties with love, and his troubled and troubling attitudes about slavery—while also confronting the many legends that have arisen around “Honest Abe.” Oates throughout raises timely questions about what the Lincoln mythos reveals about the American people.
It is a tale as familiar as our history primers: A deranged actor, John Wilkes Booth, killed Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s Theatre, escaped on foot, and eluded capture for twelve days until he met his fiery end in a Virginia tobacco barn. In the national hysteria that followed, eight others were arrested and tried; four of those were executed, four imprisoned. Therein lie all the classic elements of a great thriller. But the untold tale is even more fascinating.
George Fredrickson shows how Lincoln’s antislavery convictions, however genuine and strong, were held in check by an equally strong commitment to the rights of the states and the limitations of federal power. He explores how Lincoln’s beliefs about racial equality in civil rights, stirred and strengthened by the African American contribution to the northern war effort, were countered by his conservative constitutional philosophy, which left this matter to the states. The Lincoln who emerges from these pages is far more comprehensible and credible in his inconsistencies, and in the abiding beliefs and evolving principles from which they arose. Deeply principled but nonetheless flawed, all-too-human yet undeniably heroic, he is a Lincoln for all generations.
Emancipating Lincoln seeks a new approach to the Emancipation Proclamation, a foundational text of American liberty that in recent years has been subject to woeful misinterpretation. These seventeen hundred words are Lincoln’s most important piece of writing, responsible both for his being hailed as the Great Emancipator and for his being pilloried by those who consider his once-radical effort at emancipation insufficient and half-hearted.
Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps: A Complete Annotated Reference to Hundreds of Historical Sites Visited by Abraham Lincoln by Ralph V. Gary
From Abe Lincoln’s law offices to the 16th president’s Oval Office; from the address in Springfield, Illinois, where he made up with Mary Todd after a premarital spat to the window he jumped out of to avoid a quorum call in the Illinois General Assembly — this unprecedented volume of Lincoln lore takes readers there. A longtime member of notable Lincoln societies, Ralph Gary has scoured county courthouse records and the writings of Lincoln’s contemporaries as well as thousands of other books written on Lincoln’s life and work to compile the most complete and up-to-date guide to Lincoln historical sites ever published. Included are detailed maps showing Lincoln’s travels so that students of the Civil War and Lincoln buffs can retrace history by walking in the footsteps of one of America’s most popular presidents.
Beginning with the argument that the Emancipation Proclamation did not actually free African American slaves, this dissenting view of Lincoln’s greatness surveys the president’s policies, speeches, and private utterances and concludes that he had little real interest in abolition. Pointing to Lincoln’s support for the fugitive slave laws, his friendship with slave-owning senator Henry Clay, and conversations in which he entertained the idea of deporting slaves in order to create an all-white nation, the book, concludes that the president was a racist at heart—and that the tragedies of Reconstruction and the Jim Crow era were the legacy of his shallow moral vision.
Gettysburg Replies: The World Responds to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation
Almost five months after the Civil War’s deadliest clash, President Abraham Lincoln and other Union leaders gathered to dedicate the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The program for the occasion featured music, prayer, orations, and benedictions. In the middle of it all, the president gave a few commemorative remarks, speaking for just two minutes, delivering what we now know as the Gettysburg Address.
Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln were the preeminent self-made men of their time. In this masterful dual biography, award-winning Harvard University scholar John Stauffer describes the transformations in the lives of these two giants during a major shift in cultural history, when men rejected the status quo and embraced new ideals of personal liberty. As Douglass and Lincoln reinvented themselves and ultimately became friends, they transformed America.
In 1858, Abraham Lincoln was known as a successful Illinois lawyer who had achieved some prominence in state politics as a leader in the new Republican Party. Two years later, he was elected president and was on his way to becoming the greatest chief executive in American history.
Evaluates Lincoln’s ability as a director of war and his influence on the development of a modern command system.
Adopting a new approach to an American icon, an award-winning scholar reexamines the life of Abraham Lincoln to demonstrate how his remarkable political acumen and leadership skills evolved during the intense partisan conflict in pre-Civil War Illinois. By describing Lincoln’s rise from obscurity to the presidency, William Harris shows that Lincoln’s road to political success was far from easy—and that his reaction to events wasn’t always wise or his racial attitudes free of prejudice.
In a meticulously researched and engagingly written narrative, Brian McGinty rescues the story of Abraham Lincoln and the Supreme Court from long and undeserved neglect, recounting the compelling history of the Civil War president’s relations with the nation’s highest tribunal and the role it played in resolving the agonizing issues raised by the conflict.
This is the story of one of the most breathtaking feats in the annals of American foreign policy—performed by one of the most unlikely figures. Abraham Lincoln is not often remembered as a great foreign-policy president. He had never traveled overseas and spoke no foreign languages. And yet, during the Civil War, Lincoln and his team skillfully managed to stare down the Continent’s great powers—deftly avoiding European intervention on the side of the Confederacy. In the process, the United States emerged as a world power in its own right.
Lincoln as I Knew Him: Gossip, Tributes and Revelations from His Best Friends and Worst Enemies by Harold Holzer
Forget what you think you know about Abraham Lincoln. Yes, he was a brilliant orator, a shrewd politician, and a determined leader who guided us through the bloodiest war in American history. But he also was a terrible dresser, rarely bothered to comb his hair, annoyed his colleagues by constantly reading out loud, loved raunchy stories, and let his kids run all over him.
Lincoln on Leadership is the first book to examine Abraham Lincoln’s diverse leadership abilities and how they can be applied to today’s complex world.
Abraham Lincoln first demonstrated his determination and leadership in the Great Secession Winter — the four months between his election in November 1860 and his inauguration in March 1861 — when he rejected compromises urged on him by Republicans and Democrats, Northerners and Southerners, that might have preserved the Union a little longer but would have enshrined slavery for generations. Though Lincoln has been criticized by many historians for failing to appreciate the severity of the secession crisis that greeted his victory, Harold Holzer shows that the presidentelect waged a shrewd and complex campaign to prevent the expansion of slavery while vainly trying to limit secession to a few Deep South states.
David Herbert Donald, Lincoln biographer and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, has revised and updated his classic and influential book on Lincoln and the era he dominated.
This fascinating history explores Abraham Lincoln’s legal career, investigating the origins of his desire to practice law, his legal education, his partnerships with John Stuart, Stephen Logan, and William Herndon, and the maturation of his far-flung practice in the 1840s and 1850s. Brian Dirck also examines Lincoln’s clientele, how he charged his clients, and how he addressed judge and jury, as well as his views on legal ethics and the supposition that he never defended a client he knew to be guilty.
The nature of Abraham Lincoln’s religious beliefs is perhaps the most perplexing enigma of his legacy. Examining the relationship between Lincoln’s religious language and antebellum political culture, Winger offers a new perspective on the Great Emancipator. Lincoln’s greatest speeches, Winger shows, articulate a Romantic Protestant vision of American identity and destiny.
Lincoln’s Battle with God: A President’s Struggle with Faith and What It Meant for America by Stephen Mansfield
In this thrilling journey through a largely unknown part of American history, New York Times best-selling author Stephen Mansfield tells the richly textured story of Abraham Lincoln’s spiritual life and draws from it a meaning sure to inspire Americans today.
William Lee Miller’s ethical biography is a fresh, engaging telling of the story of Lincoln’s rise to power. Through careful scrutiny of Lincoln’s actions, speeches, and writings, and of accounts from those who knew him, Miller gives us insight into the moral development of a great politician — one who made the choice to go into politics, and ultimately realized that vocation’s fullest moral possibilities.
In this timely look into Abraham Lincoln’s White House, and the aftermath of his death, noted historian and political advisor Joshua Zeitz presents a fresh perspective on the sixteenth U.S. president—as seen through the eyes of Lincoln’s two closest aides and confidants, John Hay and John Nicolay. Lincoln’s official secretaries, Hay and Nicolay enjoyed more access, witnessed more history, and knew Lincoln better than anyone outside of the president’s immediate family. They were the gatekeepers of Lincoln’s legacy. Drawing on letters, diaries, and memoirs, Lincoln’s Boys is part political drama and part coming-of-age tale—a fascinating story of friendship, politics, war, and the contest over history and remembrance.
In Lincoln’s Constitution Daniel Farber leads the reader to understand exactly how Abraham Lincoln faced the inevitable constitutional issues brought on by the Civil War. Examining what arguments Lincoln made in defense of his actions and how his words and deeds fit into the context of the times, Farber illuminates Lincoln’s actions by placing them squarely within their historical moment. The answers here are crucial not only for a better understanding of the Civil War but also for shedding light on issues-state sovereignty, presidential power, and limitations on civil liberties in the name of national security-that continue to test the limits of constitutional law even today.
Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation dispels the myths and mistakes surrounding the Emancipation Proclamation and skillfully reconstructs how America’s greatest president wrote the greatest American proclamation of freedom
In this compelling account, noted historian Ronald C. White Jr. shows how Lincoln’s speech was initially greeted with confusion and hostility by many in the Union; commended by the legions of African Americans in attendance, abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass among them; and ultimately appropriated by his assassin John Wilkes Booth forty-one days later.
Widely considered in his own time as a genial but provincial lightweight who was out of place in the presidency, Abraham Lincoln astonished his allies and confounded his adversaries by producing a series of speeches and public letters so provocative that they helped revolutionize public opinion on such critical issues as civil liberties, the use of black soldiers, and the emancipation of slaves. This is a brilliant and unprecedented examination of how Lincoln used the power of words to not only build his political career but to keep the country united during the Civil War.
The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness.
This definitive biography of Mary Todd Lincoln beautifully conveys her tumultuous life and times. A privileged daughter of the proud clan that founded Lexington, Kentucky, Mary fell into a stormy romance with the raw Illinois attorney Abraham Lincoln.
Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War by Tom Wheeler
The Civil War was the first “modern war.” Because of the rapid changes in American society, Abraham Lincoln became president of a divided United States during a period of technological and social revolution. Among the many modern marvels that gave the North an advantage was the telegraph, which Lincoln used to stay connected to the forces in the field in almost real time.
With Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly, pioneering historian Jennifer Fleischner allows us to glimpse the intimate dynamics of this unusual friendship for the first time, and traces the pivotal events that enabled these two women—one born to be a mistress, the other to be a slave—to forge such an unlikely bond at a time when relations between blacks and whites were tearing the nation apart. Beginning with their respective childhoods in the slaveholding states of Virginia and Kentucky, their story takes us through the years of tragic Civil War, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the early Reconstruction period. An author in her own right, Keckly wrote one of the most detailed biographies of Mary Lincoln ever published, and though it led to a bitter feud between the friends, it is one of the many rich resources that have enhanced Fleischner’s trove of original findings.
President Lincoln Assassinated!! The Firsthand Story of the Murder, Manhunt, Trial, and Mourning by Harold Holzer
In his acclaimed book Lincoln’s Virtues, William Lee Miller explored Abraham Lincoln’s intellectual and moral development. Now he completes his “ethical biography,” showing how the amiable and inexperienced backcountry politician was transformed by constitutional alchemy into an oath-bound head of state. Faced with a radical moral contradiction left by the nation’s Founders, Lincoln struggled to find a balance between the universal ideals of Equality and Liberty and the monstrous injustice of human slavery.
On the night of the presidential election in 1876, a gang of counterfeiters out of Chicago attempted to steal the entombed embalmed body of Abraham Lincoln and hold it for ransom. The custodian of the tomb was so shaken by the incident that he willingly dedicated the rest of his life to protecting the president’s corpse.
Stunning in its breadth and conclusions, The Age of Lincoln is a fiercely original history of the five decades that pivoted around the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Abolishing slavery, the age’s most extraordinary accomplishment, was not its most profound. The enduring legacy of the age of Lincoln was inscribing personal liberty into the nation’s millennial aspirations.
A revised edition of the clasic study of American politics from the Founding Fathers to FDR.
Gripping, minute-by-minute account of the day President Lincoln was struck down by an assassin’s bullet in Ford’s Theatre.
The Great Comeback: How Abraham Lincoln Beat the Odds to Win the 1860 Republican Nomination by Gary Ecelbarger
In the fall of 1858, Abraham Lincoln looked to be anything but destined for greatness. Just shy of his fiftieth birthday, Lincoln was wallowing in the depths of despair following his loss to Stephen Douglas in the 1858 senatorial campaign and was taking stock in his life. The author takes us on a journey with Abraham Lincoln from the last weeks of 1858 until the end of May in 1860, on the road to his unlikely Republication presidential nomination.
In February of 1861, just days before he assumed the presidency, Abraham Lincoln faced a “clear and fully-matured” threat of assassination as he traveled by train from Springfield to Washington for his inauguration. Over a period of thirteen days the legendary detective Allan Pinkerton worked feverishly to detect and thwart the plot, assisted by a captivating young widow named Kate Warne, America’s first female private eye.
Abraham Lincoln’s excruciating, yet highly productive, midlife crisis; his woeful marriage to a dishonest woman who often embarrassed and sometimes physically abused him; his intense estrangement from a shiftless father; his streak of cruelty; his explosive temper; and his aversion to women are among the topics covered by Michael Burlingame in The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln. Based primarily on long-neglected manuscript and newspaper sources – especially on reminiscences of people who knew Lincoln – this psychobiography casts new light on the emotional origins of Lincoln’s deep hatred of slavery, on his transformation from a party hack to a statesman, on his relations with his family, on the causes of his depressions, and on the roots of his ambition. Burlingame uses a blend of Freudian and Jungian theory to interpret the psyche of the sixteenth president.
Mark E. Neely, Jr., gives us the first compact biography of Abraham Lincoln based on new scholarship. Neely, a Pulitzer prize-winning historian, vividly recaptures the central place of politics in Lincoln’s life. Richly illustrated, nuanced and accessible, written with attention to the age in which Lincoln lived, yet ever alert to universal moral questions, this book provides a portrait of Lincoln as an extraordinary man in his own time and ours.
The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln remains one of the most prominent events in U.S. history. It continues to attract enormous and intense interest from scholars, writers, and armchair historians alike, ranging from painstaking new research to wild-eyed speculation. At the end of the Lincoln bicentennial year, and the onset of the Civil War sesquicentennial, the leading scholars of Lincoln and his murder offer in one volume their latest studies and arguments about the assassination, its aftermath, the extraordinary public reaction (which was more complex than has been previously believed), and the iconography that Lincoln’s murder and deification inspired.
The Long Pursuit: Abraham Lincoln’s Thirty-Year Struggle with Stephen Douglas for the Heart and Soul of America by Roy Morris Jr.
In this compelling narrative, renowned historian Roy Morris, Jr., expertly offers a new angle on two of America’s most towering politicians and the intense personal rivalry that transformed both them and the nation they sought to lead in the dark days leading up to the Civil War.
Abraham Lincoln’s life and work have inspired more books than any other historical figure except Jesus and Shakespeare and attracted some of America’s most renowned writers. But few know him as well as Phillip Paludan, one of our nation’s foremost authorities on Lincoln and the Civil War.