Becoming Abraham Lincoln: The Coming of Age of Our Greatest President


Product Details

$24.99  $23.24
Skyhorse Publishing
Publish Date
6.0 X 1.2 X 9.1 inches | 1.15 pounds
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About the Author

Richard Kigel is a veteran New York City teacher. He is the author of On the Wings of the Wind: The Untold Story of History's First Flight and Heav'nly Tidings from the Afric Muse: The Grace and Genius of Phillis Wheatley. He lives in Staten Island, New York.


"Abraham Lincoln dismissed his own upbringing with a single line from Gray's 'Elegy: ' 'The short and simple annals of the poor.' But as Richard Kigel shows in this textured and gripping narrative, Lincoln would not have become president, much less an empathetic, wise, and history-making one, without the life lessons he absorbed on the prairie. Becoming Abraham Lincoln reminds us that Lincoln's rise was neither swift nor sure--but that ultimately, it remains the quintessential American story." --Harold Holzer, leading Lincoln scholar and author, coauthor, and editor of fifty-two books, including Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion

"Richard Kigel has given us a vivid, empathetic, consistently entertaining look at Lincoln's youth in the rough-and-tumble world that shaped his character. Full of insight, smoothly written, weaving primary sources together with an eye for authenticity and telling detail, Becoming Abraham Lincoln is a pleasure to read. . . . An original contribution to the Lincoln literature, which is no common thing, it also brings to life a fascinating slice of America's past." --James B. Conroy, author of Lincoln's White House: The People's House in Wartime, cowinner of the 2017 Lincoln Prize

"Richard Kigel fills a void that has existed for nearly a hundred years. Unfortunately, most modern writers cover the subject of these early years in less than a dozen pages before launching onto Lincoln's rise to the presidency. Kigel's work fills that void. It is modern and makes use of all the original sources as well as the writings of those Lincoln scholars who went before, giving us a fresh, up-to-date look at American's greatest statesman." --Dr. Edward Steers Jr., expert on the Lincoln assassination and author of Blood on the Moon, The Trial, The Lincoln Assassination Conspirators, and The Lincoln Assassination Encyclopedia

"Richard Kigel closely examines young Lincoln in this valuable study. What emerges is the story of a figure on the frontier of America who, somewhat miraculously, became our greatest President." --Charles B. Strozier, author of Lincoln's Quest for Union: A Psychological Portrait and Your Friend Forever, A. Lincoln: The Enduring Friendship of Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed
"From the imaginative chapter titles, to the colorful episodes and serious research, Mr. Kigel's review of Lincoln's time as a boy and young man is first-rate." --James M. Cornelius, PhD, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, Springfield, Illinois.

"An intimate biography of young Abraham Lincoln from primary sources--i.e., those who knew him in his formative years.... [A] touching work.... Kigel's emphasis on primary sources is refreshing, and he fashions an instructive work that will be especially useful for younger readers." --Kirkus Reviews