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Abraham Lincoln: A Life

Abraham Lincoln: A Life


Book Overview: Abraham Lincoln: A Life

Hailed as the definitive portrait of the sixteenth president, Lincoln scholar Michael Burlingame's impressive two-volume biography has been masterfully abridged and revised.

Sixteenth president of the United States, the Great Emancipator, and a surpassingly eloquent champion of national unity, freedom, and democracy, Abraham Lincoln is arguably the most studied and admired of all Americans. Michael Burlingame's astonishing Abraham Lincoln: A Life, an updated, condensed version of the 2,000-page two-volume set that The Atlantic hailed as one of the five best books of 2009, offers fresh interpretations of this endlessly fascinating American leader.

Based on deep research in unpublished sources as well as newly digitized sources, this work reveals how Lincoln's character and personality were the North's secret weapon in the Civil War, the key variables that spelled the difference between victory and defeat. He was a model of psychological maturity and a fully individuated man whose influence remains unrivaled in the history of American public life.

Burlingame chronicles Lincoln's childhood and early development, romantic attachments and losses, his love of learning, legal training, and courtroom career as well as his political ambition, his term as congressman in the late 1840s, and his serious bouts of depression in early adulthood. Burlingame recounts, in fresh detail, the Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln marriage and traces the mounting moral criticism of slavery that revived his political career and won this Springfield lawyer the presidency in 1860. This abridgement delivers Burlingame's signature insight into Lincoln as a young man, a father, and a politician.

Lincoln speaks to us not only as a champion of freedom, democracy, and national unity but also as a source of inspiration. Few have achieved his historical importance, but many can profit from his personal example, encouraged by the knowledge that despite a lifetime of troubles, he became a model of psychological maturity, moral clarity, and unimpeachable integrity. His presence and his leadership inspired his contemporaries; his life story will do the same for generations to come.

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PublisherJohns Hopkins University Press
Publication Date2023
Dimensionsin x in x in
Weight lbs
Michael Burlingame, a renowned American historian and author, is lauded for his incisive works on Abraham Lincoln. Born in Washington D.C, Burlingame dedicated much of his life to unraveling the complex narratives of Lincoln's life and has published several groundbreaking books on this unique figure in American history. Academically, Burlingame secured his PhD from Johns Hopkins University and was as a history professor for over 40 years, teaching primarily at Connecticut College and San Francisco State University. His tremendous research initiatives and excellence in teaching have earned him numerous accolades throughout his esteemed career. Primarily recognized for his two-volume biography, "Abraham Lincoln: A Life," Michael Burlingame's masterful handling of the Lincoln story transcends traditional records by providing rich psychological insight and chronicling nuanced aspects of Lincoln's personal life. As a historian, researcher, and writer, Burlingame’s extensive contribution to American historical literature remains unmatched.

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