The much-anticipated film Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, recently opened in theaters nationwide. Here in the Land of Lincoln, we’ve always had a strong history of publishing works on our 16th president, and here a few recent books that extend Lincoln’s legacy beyond the big screen.
Lincoln the Lawyer
Lincoln lived most of his adult life as a practicing lawyer, and this book explores the origins of the “Prairie Lawyer” and his legal education, his partnerships with John Stuart, Stephen Logan, and William Herndon, and how his legal work influenced his political career.
Lincoln’s Political Generals
The film Lincoln focuses on the legislative maneuvering to pass the 13th Amendment, but Lincoln also made strategic military appointments. In this book, David Work examines Lincoln’s policy of appointing political generals to build a national coalition to fight and win the Civil War.
Mary Lincoln’s Insanity Case: A Documentary History
Sally Field will probably snag awards for her portrayal of the unstable Mary Todd Lincoln, but was the President’s wife and widow truly insane? Emerson provides a documentary history of Mary Lincoln’s mental illness and insanity case, evenhandedly presenting every relevant primary source on the subject to enable a clearer view of the facts.
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The Lincoln Studies Center Edition
Edited by Rodney O. Davis and Douglas L. Wilson
The most complete record ever assembled of the landmark Lincoln-Douglas debates, this edition brings readers as close as possible to the original words of these two remarkable men. Meticulously edited and annotated, it provides numerous aids to help the modern reader understand the debates, including extensive introductory material, commentary, and a glossary.
William H. Herndon and Jesse W. Weik
Edited by Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis
William H. Herndon was Lincoln’s law partner, a personal friend, and his first biographer. His portrait of Lincoln established itself as a classic, and this recent edition restores the original text and is updated with extensive notes.
“Lincoln’s Humor” and Other Essays
Benjamin P. Thomas
Edited by Michael Burlingame
From colorful tall tales to clever barbs aimed at political opponents, Lincoln used humor to defuse tension, illuminate a point, put others at ease–and sometimes for sheer fun. This collection of essays explores Lincoln’s qualities as a humorist, lawyer, and politician.
Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association
Bryon Andreasen, Editor
The only journal dedicated exclusively to Lincoln scholarship and the official journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association.