100 Essential Lincoln Books

100 Essential Lincoln Books

by Michael Burkhimer


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Few politicians have fascinated the American people as much as Abraham Lincoln. The 1990s witnessed heightened interest in the sixteenth president and a flood of books about him that continues to the present. A recent tally indicates that at least 14,000 books and pamphlets have been written about him. The last guide to the best Lincoln books was produced in 1946. Since then several thousand more titles have been published. As a result, anyone interested in reading about him faces a daunting task in seeking out the books that offer the keenest insights into the man and the legend and lore that surround him. Michael Burkhimer's "100 Essential Lincoln Books offers a guide to this vast body of Lincoln literature. He chooses books that are indispensable for both book collectors and readers intent on learning more about Lincoln. The importance of each work is outlined with an emphasis on how it has contributed to Lincoln studies. Burkhimer's criteria for selection are based on the book's originality, sources, interpretations, writing style, and overall contribution. Titles are arranged chronologically in order of their first publication, ranging from 1866 (Francis B. Carpenter's "Six Months at the While House with Abraham Lincoln) to 2002 (William Lee Miller's "Lincoln's Virtues). The recent resurgence of interest in Lincoln is reflected in that almost one-third of the books described here have appeared since 1990. To further aid the curious Lincoln reader, each title is classified under a general heading, such as assassination, biography, family and genealogy, and reminiscences. Indexes of authors and headings are also included.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781581823691
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 11/15/2003
Pages: 323
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.97(d)

Table of Contents

1.The Inner Life of Abraham Lincoln: Six Months at the White House by Francis B. Carpenter3
2.The Life of Abraham Lincoln by Josiah G. Holland6
3.Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House by Elizabeth H. Keckley9
4.The Life of Abraham Lincoln by Isaac N. Arnold12
5.Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by Distinguished Men of His Time edited by Allen Thorndike Rice15
6.Herndon's Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life by William H. Herndon and Jesse W. Weik18
7.Inside the White House in War Times: Memoirs and Reports of Lincoln's Secretary by William O. Stoddard21
8.Abraham Lincoln and Men of War-Times: Some Personal Recollections of War and Politics During the Lincoln Administration by Alexander McClure24
9.Washington in Lincoln's Time by Noah Brooks27
10.Recollections of Abraham Lincoln: 1847-1865 by Ward Hill Lamon30
11.Lincoln in the Telegraph Office: Recollections of the United States Military Telegraph Corps During the Civil War by David Homer Bates33
12.A Reporter's Lincoln by Walter B. Stevens36
13.Abraham Lincoln by Lord Charnwood39
14.The Real Lincoln: A Portrait by Jesse W. Weik42
15.In the Footsteps of the Lincolns by Ida M. Tarbell45
16.Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years by Carl Sandburg48
17.Lincoln's Parentage and Childhood: A History of the Kentucky Lincolns Supported by Documentary Evidence by Louis A. Warren51
18.The Women Lincoln Loved by William E. Barton54
19.Lincoln at New Salem by Thomas P. Reep57
20.Abraham Lincoln: 1809-1858 by Albert J. Beveridge60
21.The Lineage of Lincoln by William E. Barton63
22.Lincoln's New Salem by Benjamin P. Thomas66
23."Here I Have Lived": A History of Lincoln's Springfield 1821-1865 by Paul M. Angle69
24.The Unlocked Book: A Memoir of John Wilkes Booth by His Sister Asia Clarke Booth by Asia Clarke Booth72
25.The Hidden Lincoln: From the Letters and Papers of William H. Herndon edited by Emmanuel Hertz75
26.Lincoln and the Civil War: In the Diaries and Letters of John Hay edited by Tyler Dennett78
27.The Great American Myth: The True Story of Lincoln's Murder by George S. Bryan81
28.Lincoln and the Radicals by T. Harry Williams84
29.Lincoln and His Party in the Secession Crisis by David M. Potter87
30.Lincoln the President by James G. Randall and Richard N. Current90
31.Lincoln in Caricature by Rufus Rockwell Wilson93
32.Lincoln's War Cabinet by Burton J. Hendrick96
33.The Lincoln Reader edited by Paul M. Angle99
34.Lincoln the Liberal Statesman by James G. Randall102
35.Portrait for Posterity: Lincoln and His Biographers by Benjamin P. Thomas105
36.Lincoln's Herndon by David Herbert Donald108
37.Lincoln and the War Governors by William B. Hesseltine111
38.Lincoln Runs for Congress by Donald W. Riddle114
39.Lincoln's Vandalia: A Pioneer Portrait by William E. Baringer117
40.Abraham Lincoln: A Biography by Benjamin P. Thomas120
41.Lincoln and His Generals by T. Harry Williams123
42.The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler; Marion Dolores Pratt and Lloyd Dunlap, assistant editors126
43.Mary Lincoln: Biography of a Marriage by Ruth Painter Randall129
44.Lincoln's Sons by Ruth Painter Randall132
45.Lincoln and the Tools of War by Robert V. Bruce135
46.Lincoln Reconsidered: Essays on the Civil War Era by David Herbert Donald138
47.The Lincoln Nobody Knows by Richard N. Current141
48.Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates by Harry V. Jaffa144
49.Lincoln's Youth: The Indiana Years, Seven to Twenty-one, 1816-1830 by Louis A. Warren147
50.The Almost Chosen People: A Study of the Religion of Abraham Lincoln by William J. Wolf150
51.Lincoln As a Lawyer by John P. Frank153
52.Prelude to Greatness: Lincoln in the 1850's by Don E. Fehrenbacher156
53.Lincoln and the Negro by Benjamin Quarles159
54.Twenty Days by Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt and Philip B. Kunhardt Jr.162
55.Lincoln's Preparation for Greatness: The Illinois Legislative Years by Paul Simon165
56.Robert Todd Lincoln: A Man in His Own Right by John S. Goff168
57.Mary Todd Lincoln: Her Life and Letters by Justin G. Turner and Linda Levitt Turner171
58.A True History of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the Conspiracy of 1865 by Louis J. Weichmann174
59.Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream by Gabor S. Boritt177
60.A. Lincoln: The Crucible of Congress by Paul Findley180
61.Lincoln and Black Freedom: A Study in Presidential Leadership by LaWanda Cox183
62.The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia by Mark E. Neely Jr.186
63.Lincoln's Quest for Union: Public and Private Meanings by Charles B. Strozier189
64.Beware the People Weeping: Public Opinion and the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by Thomas Reed Turner192
65.Abe Lincoln Laughing: Humorous Anecdotes from Original Sources by and About Abraham Lincoln edited by P.M. Zall195
66.The Lincoln Murder Conspiracies by William Hanchett198
67.Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography by Jean H. Baker201
68.Lincoln in Text and Context: Selected Essays by Don E. Fehrenbacher204
69.The Historian's Lincoln: Pseudohistory, Psychohistory and History edited by Gabor S. Boritt207
70.Building the Myth: Selected Speeches Memorializing Abraham Lincoln edited by Waldo W. Braden210
71.The Lincoln Family Album by Mark E. Neely Jr. and Harold Holzer213
72.Lincoln, Douglas, and Slavery: In the Crucible of Public Debate by David Zarefsky216
73.Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by James M. McPherson219
74.The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties by Mark E. Neely Jr.222
75.Lincoln the War President: The Gettysburg Lectures edited by Gabor S. Boritt225
76.Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography by Philip B. Kunhardt Jr., Philip B. Kunhardt III, and Peter W. Kunhardt228
77.Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America by Gary Wills231
78.Dear Mr. Lincoln: Letters to the President edited by Harold Holzer234
79.The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America by Mark E. Neely Jr.237
80.The Shadows Rise: Abraham Lincoln and the Ann Rutledge Legend by John Evangelist Walsh240
81.The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln by Michael Burlingame243
82.The Jewel of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln's Re-Election and the End of Slavery by David E. Long246
83.The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln by Philip Shaw Paludan249
84.Lincoln in American Memory by Merrill D. Peterson252
85.Lincoln by David Herbert Donald255
86.Abraham Lincoln: From Skeptic to Prophet by Wayne C. Temple258
87.An Oral History of Abraham Lincoln: John G. Nicolay's Interviews and Essays edited by Michael Burlingame261
88.With Charity for All: Lincoln and the Restoration of the Union by William C. Harris264
89.Lincoln's Photographs: A Complete Album by Lloyd Ostendorf267
90.Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln by Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editors270
91.Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln by Douglas L. Wilson273
92.Lincoln's Men: How President Lincoln Became a Father to an Army and a Nation by William C. Davis276
93.Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President by Allen C. Guelzo279
94.Don't Shoot That Boy! Abraham Lincoln and Military Justice by Thomas P. Lowry282
95.On Hallowed Ground: Abraham Lincoln and the Foundations of American History by John Patrick Diggins285
96.A New Birth of Freedom: Abraham Lincoln and the Coming of the Civil War by Henry V. Jaffa288
97.The Young Eagle: The Rise of Abraham Lincoln by Kenneth J. Winkle291
98.The Lincoln Enigma: The Changing Faces of an American Icon edited by Gabor S. Boritt294
99.Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by Edward Steers Jr.297
100.Lincoln's Virtues: An Ethical Biography by William Lee Miller300
Index of Authors303
Index of Genres305

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100 Essential Lincoln Books 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
ALincolnNut on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An upcoming bibliography of works about Abraham Lincoln is reputed to have identified some 14,000 distinct books. This is no surprise, given the handful of prominent books about Lincoln released each year in January and February (to correspond with Lincoln's Birthday), which presumably represent an even larger number of new Lincoln books released with little fanfare each year. Among all of these books, it can be difficult to choose which ones to read. So a book that offers a general introduction to a selection of the most important Lincoln books would be an important addition to the Lincoln catalog. Michael Burkhimer's 100 Essential Lincoln Books takes up this task; unfortunately, it is not really up to the challenge. A simple overview of this book shows that Burkhimer is in over his head. There is a two-page Introduction, followed by a three-page chapter on each of the 100 selected books. Burkhimer offers no explanation of how he selected his books and no overall understanding of how one should go about such a process. Burkhimer offers no justification for the books he has selected, except that he occasionally asserts within a certain book's description that surely this book is an essential book because of its specific influence on one aspect of Lincoln studies. Sadly, this is not the main problem with the book. While there can be arguments over Burkhimer's list of 100 books (I know I wondered why certain titles were included and certain ones omitted), almost all of them are certainly recognizable to someone well versed in Lincoln studies and worthy of attention. The larger problem is with Burkhimer's portrayal of each of the books themselves. I have read many of the books described in this volume and know most of the others by reputation. Invariably, Burkhimer offers a surface reading of each of the books. Sometimes, his description misses the overall point of the book. For example, Burkhimer stresses how Garry Wills' Pulitzer-Prize winning Lincoln at Gettysburg offers a fresh perspective on the influence of the address in altering fundamental American beliefs. This is true, but how Wills does this is paramount: he carefully places the Gettysburg Address within its rhetorical, cultural, and intellectual context, showing what resources Lincoln is drawing upon in the speech and showing how Lincoln then offered things that were uniquely his own within this context. Burkhimer, even while describing some of this study, clearly does not appreciate it. The descriptions in this book are plagued by such partial readings, which is a pity. A larger problem, however, is that Burkhimer demonstrates almost no appreciation of the significant change that the study of history has undergone in the United States in the past 150 years. This fundamental change (the so-called "professionalization of history" which has led to a more consistent application of citing sources, and distinguishing between primary and secondary sources) is apparent when considering the best Lincoln books during this entire timeframe. In particular, Burkhimer underestimates the books written during the most obvious change -- from the self-trained historian to the university-trained historian -- from about 1900-1945.  For example, he is fairly dismissive of noted minister turned Lincoln author William Barton, even though he includes two of Barton's several Lincoln books on the list, as focusing too much on minutiae; but Burkhimer fails to understand what context Barton was writing within, and that his emphasis on minutiae was in large part a change to discerning concrete facts about history, rather than relying on anecdote, and was the important transition step to the more professional history of J. G. Randall, David Herbert Donald, and others since.
Schneider on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a relativley new reader/collector of all things Lincoln, this is a work I continue to refer back to in my quest to develop my collection. Burkhimer seems to have done his homework with this one. The book is quite the accomplishment considering the sheer number of titles that exist on the subject. The annotated list covers a wide range of topics on the president, his family, and those around him. Unfortunately, so many more amazing titles have come out in recent years which work doesn't cover. But the list that Mr. Burkhimer has assembled is marvelous. I highly recommend it to any and all who are interested in the great works on and about Mr. Lincoln. For those like myself, it is a great entry point into the obsession that is Abraham Lincoln.
estamm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ok, perhaps not 'critical' Lincoln books are found here, I *greatly* appreciate this book introducing me to books that I was unaware of and have since read. For example, I wasn't sure if I should read 'Honor's Voice' or not, but this book convinced me to read it, and I loved it. I certainly will endeavor to read most of the books found here. Sure, there may be some great books not here, but all of the '100' are worthy reads. I would suggest that the authors update this book every 5 or 10 years to identify newer worthy books.