This award-winning biography has been hailed as the definitive portrait of Lincoln.
Named One of the 5 Best Books of 2009 by The AtlanticNamed One of the 10 Top Lincoln Books by Chicago Tribune Winner, 2008 PROSE Award for Best Book in U.S. History and Biography/Autobiography, Association of American PublishersWinner, 2010 Lincoln Prize from the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College
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.
Volume 1 covers Lincoln's early childhood, his experiences as a farm boy in Indiana and Illinois, his legal training, and the political ambition that led to a term in Congress in the 1840s. In volume 2, Burlingame examines Lincoln's life during his presidency and the Civil War, narrating in fascinating detail the crisis over Fort Sumter and Lincoln's own battles with relentless office seekers, hostile newspaper editors, and incompetent field commanders. Burlingame also offers new interpretations of Lincoln's private life, discussing his marriage to Mary Todd and the untimely deaths of two sons to disease.
In volume 2, Burlingame examines Lincoln's presidency and the trials of the Civil War. He supplies fascinating details on the crisis over Fort Sumter and the relentless office seekers who plagued Lincoln. He introduces readers to the president's battles with hostile newspaper editors and his quarrels with incompetent field commanders. Burlingame also interprets Lincoln's private life, discussing his marriage to Mary Todd, the untimely death of his son Willie to disease in 1862, and his recurrent anguish over the enormous human costs of the war.
The author knows more about Lincoln than any other living person.
-- "New York Review of Books"
Lincoln has, of course, been the subject of an extensive body of literature due to the unquestioned importance of his presidency, his remarkable rise from frontier hardship to commander in chief, and his composition of some of the great works of American statesmanship. Burlingame describes all of this in such an impressive fashion that even readers already very well-versed on Lincoln's life and the Civil War will find much of value here... Burlingame has set a very high bar for future students of the Great Emancipator... It is unlikely that [a study] will appear anytime soon that matches the breadth and depth of coverage found in Burlingame's study, or challenges its place as the outstanding multi-volume account of Lincoln's life.
--Ethan S. Rafuse "Blue and Gray Magazine"