In honor of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, this coming February 12, Shelf Awareness is offering a selected listing of books related to the 16th president. Some are new, some are backlist, and all are recommended either by booksellers, librarians or proud publishers. This is the third part of a multipart feature, compiled with help from Tobias Mutter:
Lincoln and the Decision for War: The Northern Response to Secession by Russell McClintock (University of North Carolina Press, $35, 9780807831885/0807831883).
Published last year, "this is a groundbreaking look at how the North handled the secession crisis, and how it ultimately came down to President Lincoln himself to choose whether the future of the American republic would be determined through peace or the sword." Thanks to Dino A. Battista of the University of North Carolina Press.
Lincoln's America: 1809-1865 edited by Joseph R. Fornieri and Sara Vaughn Gabbard (Southern Illinois University Press, $32.95, 9780809328789/080932878X).
Heather Shaw of ForeWord Magazine described this book, published last fall, as "a collection of 10 original and new essays by historians from around the country. Although each of the essays include Lincoln in its title, the themes are less biographical, and more sociological; they examine the different ways society shaped the life and character of the 16th President of the United States."
The Words of Abraham Lincoln selected by Larry Shapiro (Newmarket Press, $11.95, 9781557048301/1557048304).
Newmarket said that "this new collection of quotations from Lincoln's speeches and writings, arranged chronologically, cover his broad life experience, including: the early years as a back country lawyer, his marriage and family, Lincoln as a humorist, the slavery controversy, the long Civil War period, the inspirational last years." Thanks to Harry Burton. Pub date is February 10.
The Murder of Abraham Lincoln illustrated by Rick Geary (ComicsLit, $9.95, 9781561634262/1561634263).
Terry Nantier of NBM Publishing wrote: "This is a graphic novel in the Treasury of Victorian Murder series. It explores the 62 days between March 4 and May 4, 1865." Published originally in 2005.
Lincoln on Race and Slavery edited by Henry Louis, Jr. Gates and Donald Yacovone (Princeton University Press, $24.95, 9780691142340/0691142343).
Katherine C. LaVela of the Princeton University Press recommended this title, which appears February 10, writing that it "demonstrates that Abraham Lincoln was very much a man of his time--one who enjoyed blackface minstrel shows and used the 'n-word' in public addresses as late as 1862, but who also struggled very publicly with his changing ideas about slavery and race."
The Dark Intrigue: The True Story of a Civil War Conspiracy by Frank van der Linden (Fulcrum Publishing, $35, 9781555916107/1555916104).
Haley Wallace of Fulcrum wrote about this 2007 title, "While this previously untold account took place during Lincoln's presidency and the Civil War, many of the same sentiments and circumstances are happening in the United States today. As a former Washington newspaper correspondent, van der Linden hopes that the book will cause readers to reflect that perhaps simply branding a war as 'a failure' may not be the best approach."
Abraham Lincoln's Extraordinary Era: The Man and His Times by Karen Kostyal (National Geographic, $35, 9781426203282/1426203284).
The press wrote: "The official book of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum--vibrant with little known stories and rare archival photographs--gives new insight into the president who reunited a nation and captivated the world. In her foreword, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin writes, 'The idea behind this original look at our most written-about President is to place the events of Abraham Lincoln's life into the context of larger happenings in both the country and the world.' Every page reflects the humor, integrity, and unique style of leadership that made Abe Lincoln a legend." Thanks to Alison Reeves of the National Geographic Society. This book has just been published.
In Lincoln's Hand: His Original Manuscripts with Commentary by Distinguished Americans by Harold Holzer and Joshua Wolf Shenk (Bantam, $35, 9780553807424/0553807420).
Bantam called this book, which will be published later this month, "an unparalleled and dramatically revealing look at perhaps the greatest American President through vivid images of his actual handwritten letters, speeches, and even childhood notebooks collected for the first time in book form. Each manuscript is accompanied by commentary from distinguished names in literature, politics, and entertainment including essays by Presidents George Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Ken Burns, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Toni Morrison, John Updike, Sam Waterston and Steven Spielberg to name just a few. In addition, the book will serve as the official companion to the historic Library of Congress special exhibition celebrating the 200th birthday of Lincoln opening in February 2009: With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition." Thanks to Chris Artis of Bantam.
The Language of Liberty: The Political Speeches and Writings of Abraham Lincoln: Revised Bicentennial Edition by Joseph Fornieri (Regnery Publishing, $34.95, 9781596980846/1596980842).
The publisher wrote about this just-published book: The author's "unique compilation provides a comprehensive selection of Lincoln's most important speeches and writings in their entirety, including the famous Cooper Union speech, both inaugural addresses, and the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Each chapter also includes major historical, political, and biographical events in Lincoln's life and the life of the nation for greater context. Timed to launch just before Lincoln's bicentennial birthday, The Language of Liberty is essential for anyone who wants to know more about America's rich history through the writings and speeches of one of her greatest leaders." Thanks to Jeanne F. Crotty of Regnery.
The Baltimore Plot: The First Conspiracy to Assassinate Abraham Lincoln by Michael J. Kline (Westholme Publishing, $29.95, 9781594160714/1594160716).
Bruce H. Franklin called this "the first full-length story of the conspiracy to kill Lincoln as he passed by train through Baltimore on his way to his first inauguration. The detective Allan Pinkerton, aided by America's first official female undercover agent, Kate Warne, uncovered the plot: they were able to warn Lincoln's entourage in time for them to change their plans. Donning a disguise and accompanied by a heavily armed guard, Lincoln traveled to Washington by a special overnight train, making his way through Baltimore in the wee hours of the morning."
Mrs. Lincoln: A Life by Catherine Clinton (Harper, $26.99, 9780060760403/0060760400).
Published last week, this book was recommended by HarperCollins's Kevin Callahan. Doris Kearns Goodwin commented: "In this remarkable book, Catherine Clinton displays an emotional depth in her understanding of Mary Lincoln that has rarely been revealed in the Lincoln literature. This engaging, wonderfully written narrative provides fresh insight into this complex woman whose intelligence and loving capacities were continually beset by insecurities. It is a triumph."
Lincoln and His Boys by Rosemary Wells, illustrated by P.J. Lynch (Candlewick Press, $16.99, 9780763637231/0763637238).
The publisher wrote about this book, which was published in December: "Historians claim him as one of America's most revered presidents. But to his rambunctious sons, Abraham Lincoln was above all a playful and loving father. Here is Lincoln as seen by two of his boys: with the war raging and the Union under siege, we see history unfolding through Willie's eyes and then through Tad's--and we see Lincoln rising above his own inborn sadness and personal tragedy through his devotion to his sons. With evocative and engaging illustrations by P.J. Lynch, Rosemary Wells offers a carefully researched biography that gives us a Lincoln not frozen in time but accessible and utterly real." Thanks to Laura Rivas at Candlewick.
The Great Comeback: How Abraham Lincoln Beat the Odds to Win the 1860 Republican Nomination by Gary Ecelbarger (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's, $25.95, 9780312374136/0312374135).
Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer, who has several titles listed here, wrote that this is "a rousing--yet authoritatively researched--account of one of the most dramatic, unlikely, and history-altering presidential conventions ever. . . . Lincoln emerges as a brilliant, determined, and lucky politician, and Gary Ecelbarger as a major force in Lincoln scholarship."
Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson (Scholastic, $16.99, 9780439903547/439903548).
Tracy van Straaten of Scholastic wrote: "Based on Lincoln scholar Swanson's bestselling adult book Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer, [this] is an accessible look at the events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and shows young readers Abraham Lincoln the president, the man, the father, the husband, the friend--and how his death impacted those closest to him." To be published in February 2009.
The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary by Candace Fleming (Schwartz & Wade/Random, $24.99, 9780375836183/0375836187).
"If you are looking for a nonfiction book on Abraham Lincoln, this is it. The scrapbook format--featuring actual photographs, newspaper clippings, handwritten letters, and drawings--makes this a very accessible book for the older elementary or middle school child. Fleming also provides an excellent bibliography for young readers and websites to learn more about the Lincolns."--Judy Hanley, Book Ends, Winchester, Mass., on the Kids' Next Indie List for Winter '08-'09. Published October 2008.