Julie M. Fenster; Foreword by Douglas Brinkley
Palgrave Macmillan Trade
The year 1856 was a pivotal one for this country, witnessing the birth of the Republican Party as we know it. But it was also a critical year in the troubled political life of Abraham Lincoln. As a lawyer, he tried his most scandalous murder case. At the same time, he made a decision which unleashed his soaring abilities for the first time, a decision which reverberates to this day: whether or not to join the new Republican Party. The Case of Abraham Lincoln offers the first-ever account of the suspenseful Anderson Murder Case, and Lincoln’s role in it. Bestselling historian Fenster not only examines the case that changed Lincoln’s fate, but portrays his day-to-day life as a circuit lawyer and how it shaped him as a politician. In a book that draws a picture of Lincoln in court and at home during that memorable season of 1856, Fenster also offers a close-up look at Lincoln’s political work, much of it masterful, some of it adventurous, in building the party that would change his fate – and that of the nation.
"[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
"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)
"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
"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