October 10, 2023
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v2.1 Reference

Abraham Lincoln, Abridged Edition

A Life

Hailed as the definitive portrait of the sixteenth president, Lincoln scholar Michael Burlingame's impressive two-volume biography has been masterfully abridged and revised.

Sixteenth president of the United States, the Great Emancipator, and a surpassingly eloquent champion of national unity, freedom, and democracy, Abraham Lincoln is arguably the most studied and admired of all Americans. Michael Burlingame's astonishing Abraham Lincoln: A Life, an updated, condensed version of the 2,000-page two-volume set that The Atlantic hailed as one of the five best books of 2009, offers fresh interpretations of this endlessly fascinating American leader.

Based on deep research in unpublished sources as well as newly digitized sources, this work reveals how Lincoln's character and personality were the North's secret weapon in the Civil War, the key variable that spelled the difference between victory and defeat. He was a model of psychological maturity and a fully individuated man whose influence remains unrivaled in the history of American public life. Burlingame chronicles Lincoln's childhood and early development, romantic attachments and losses, his love of learning, legal training, and courtroom career as well as his political ambition, his term as congressman in the late 1840s, and his serious bouts of depression in early adulthood. Burlingame recounts, in fresh detail, the Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln marriage and traces the mounting moral criticism of slavery that revived his political career and won this Springfield lawyer the presidency in 1860. This abridgement delivers Burlingame's signature insight into Lincoln as a young man, a father, and a politician.

Lincoln speaks to us not only as a champion of freedom, democracy, and national unity but also as a source of inspiration. Few have achieved his historical importance, but many can profit from his personal example, encouraged by the knowledge that despite a lifetime of troubles, he became a model of psychological maturity, moral clarity, and unimpeachable integrity. His presence and his leadership inspired his contemporaries; his life story will do the same for generations to come.

About the Authors

Michael Burlingame (MYSTIC, CT) is Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield. He is the author or editor of several books about Lincoln, including Lincoln Observed: Civil War Dispatches of Noah Brooks; The Black Man's President: Abraham Lincoln, African Americans, and the Pursuit of Racial Equality; and An American Marriage: The Untold Story of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd. Jonathan W. White (NEWPORT NEWS, VA) is an associate professor of American studies at Christopher Newport University. He has written and edited more than a dozen books on the Civil War era, including A House Built by Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House.


"To read the peerless Michael Burlingame on Abraham Lincoln is as close as we can conceivably come to spending time with our greatest president in the years of our nation's greatest crisis. In this abridged volume of his two-volume masterpiece, Burlingame gives us a brilliant work of depth and detail. A monumental and indeed vital achievement."

- Jon Meacham, author of And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle

"The deep research is still evident. The detailed knowledge of every facet of Lincoln's life remains impressive. But now, thanks to this expertly crafted abridgement Michael Burlingame's, monumental biography of Lincoln is more readily accessible to the broad range of readers it deserves."

- James Oakes, author of The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution

"When Michael Burlingame's Abraham Lincoln: A Life appeared in 2008, it was recognized at once—and not just by Lincoln admirers—as one of the best Lincoln biographies. This skillful one-volume abridgement by Jonathan White now adds the attraction of accessibility to greatness."

- Allen C. Guelzo, Princeton University
Johns Hopkins University Press
Abridged Edition
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9781421445557 : abraham-lincoln-2nd-edition-burlingame-white
October 10, 2023
$34.95 USD

Other Titles by Michael Burlingame

Lincoln and Liberty

edited by Lucas E. Morel, introduction by Clarence Thomas, with contributions byFred Kaplan, John Channing Briggs, Michael Burlingame, Diana J. Schaub, Thomas L. Krannawitter, Lucas E. Morel, Steven Kautz, Allen C. Guelzo, Matthew Pinsk...
Jan 2015 - University Press of Kentucky
$40.00 USD - Hardback
$40.00 USD - Electronic book text
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Abraham Lincoln, Volume 1

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Apr 2013 - Johns Hopkins University Press
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Abraham Lincoln, Volume 2

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