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The Case of Abraham Lincoln

A Story of Adultery, Murder, and the Making of a Great President

Julie M. Fenster; Foreword by Douglas Brinkley

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

In 1856, Abraham Lincoln was at a personal crossroads. Often despondent, he had grown bored with his work as a lawyer. He was beginning to see himself as just a former Congressman, without much of a future in politics. Later that year,  the gruesome murder of a Springfield blacksmith provided the case that defined Lincoln's legal career. The string of lurid revelations that followed the crime became front page news across the country, putting Lincoln back in the national spotlight. The Anderson case reflected the spirit of the times: an inescapable, dark world, hidden within the optimism and innocence of the young city of Springfield. With the Anderson murder, Lincoln's legal skills as a defender were challenged as never before and he was finally able to prove himself as a man with a great destiny.

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Praise for The Case of Abraham Lincoln

"The microview Fenster offers of both Lincoln's life and the daily experience in mid-19th century Springfield is fascinating...Fenster does an excellent job of allowing us to watch [Lincoln] grow, almost as if by time-lapse photography...a gem indeed." -- Marjorie Kehe, Christian Science Monitor

"Through the lens of a sensational 1856 Springfield, Ill., murder case, a historian focuses on Abraham Lincoln the lawyer and politician, four years before his election to the presidency…  An unexpected, odd-angle approach to Lincoln that proves marvelously insightful." -- Kirkus (Starred review)

"In [The Case of Abraham Lincoln] we learn how Abraham Lincoln averted one looming if by comparison rather small injustice, and also how he began the business of ending a much vaster and more terrible one." -- Fredeic Smoler, AmericanHeritage.com

"[The Case of Abraham Lincoln is a beautifully nuanced portrait of Lincoln in the turning-point year of 1856 when the former Whig joined the new Republican party, gave what many considered to be his greatest speech and suddenly found himself a national figure." -- Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune

"what The Case of Abraham Lincoln: A Story of Adultery, Murder and the Making of a Great President achieves is something few college history courses -- and certainly accompanying textbooks -- are able to: great storytelling." -- Chicago Sun-Times

 

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Julie M. Fenster; Foreword by Douglas Brinkley

  • Julie M. Fenster is the co-author (with Douglas Brinkley) of The New York Times bestseller Parish Priest. Her books include the award-winning Ether Day and Race of the Century. A regular contributor to American Heritage, Fenster has also written for The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. She lives in Syracuse, New York.
  • Julie M. Fenster
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Available Formats and Book Details

The Case of Abraham Lincoln

A Story of Adultery, Murder, and the Making of a Great President

Julie M. Fenster; Foreword by Douglas Brinkley

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