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The Concise Lincoln Library

Southern Illinois University Press

While interest in our 16th president seems never- ending, the scope of the man can be overwhelming for anyone exploring the extensive literature on him. That seems to be the need that the new “Concise Lincoln Library” seeks to fill with its series of short studies on various facets of Abraham Lincoln’s life (now up to eight volumes).

Lincoln and the Election of 1860, as an example, focuses on the rise, fall and resurrection of party politics in the United States, with author Michael Green concluding that what ultimately determined the management of Lincoln’s presidential campaign and the election’s outcome were Lincoln’s own savvy and political instincts.

A similar conceit is found in Lincoln and the Civil War, in which Michael Burlingame argues that Union victory ultimately rested on the intuition and rapidly growing maturity of its new commander in chief.

In Abraham and Mary Lincoln, Kenneth Winkle looks at the First Couple’s relationship, which was apparently more mutually supportive than has typically been portrayed. Another complex relationship is explored in Greg Borchard’s Abraham Lincoln and Horace Greeley, which examines the parallel lives of two self-made men— a lawyer-politician from the West and a journalist from the East— which first intersected in Chicago in 1847 and continued to influence each other thereafter.

After digesting each of these studies—and those to follow in the series—Lincoln aficionados will hopefully gain a better appreciation for a man whose place in history constitutes more than the sum of his many parts.


Originally published in the June 2012 issue of Civil War Times. To subscribe, click here.