Paperback / softback
April 1, 2013
10.00 Inches (US)
7.00 Inches (US)
1.53 Inches (US)
3.3 Pounds (US)
$32.95 USD, £24.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
April 1, 2013
10.00 Inches (US)
7.00 Inches (US)
$32.95 USD, £24.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Abraham Lincoln, Volume 1

A Life

Now in paperback, this award-winning biography has been hailed as the definitive portrait of Lincoln.

Named One of the 10 Top Lincoln Books by Chicago Tribune
Named One of the 5 Best Books of 2009 by The Atlantic
Winner, 2008 PROSE Award for Best Book in U.S. History and Biography/Autobiography, Association of American Publishers
Winner, 2010 Lincoln Prize from the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College

In the first multi-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln to be published in decades, Lincoln scholar Michael Burlingame offers a fresh look at the life of one of America’s greatest presidents. Incorporating the field notes of earlier biographers, along with decades of research in multiple manuscript archives and long-neglected newspapers, this remarkable work will both alter and reinforce our current understanding of America’s sixteenth president.

Volume 1 covers Lincoln’s early childhood, his experiences as a farm boy in Indiana and Illinois, his legal training, and the political ambition that led to a term in Congress in the 1840s. In volume 2, Burlingame examines Lincoln’s life during his presidency and the Civil War, narrating in fascinating detail the crisis over Fort Sumter and Lincoln’s own battles with relentless office seekers, hostile newspaper editors, and incompetent field commanders. Burlingame also offers new interpretations of Lincoln’s private life, discussing his marriage to Mary Todd and the untimely deaths of two sons to disease.

But through it all—his difficult childhood, his contentious political career, a fratricidal war, and tragic personal losses—Lincoln preserved a keen sense of humor and acquired a psychological maturity that proved to be the North’s most valuable asset in winning the Civil War.

Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, this landmark publication establishes Burlingame as the most assiduous Lincoln biographer of recent memory and brings Lincoln alive to modern readers as never before.

About the Author

Michael Burlingame 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, published by Johns Hopkins, and The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln.


"This book supplants [Carl] Sandburg and supersedes all other biographies. Future Lincoln books cannot be written without it, and from no other book can a general reader learn so much about Abraham Lincoln. It is the essential title for the bicentennial."

- James L. Swanson - Publishers Weekly

"A complete view of Lincoln's life... thorough."

- Diane Cole - U.S. News & World Report

"A monumental boxed effort that weighs in at 10 pounds... The result is a picture of Lincoln from all sides, in a style that is relentless but not daunting."

- Bloomberg News

"A magisterial enterprise."

- William Safire - New York Times

"If you aspire to Ultimate Lincoln Knowledge this is a must-read."

- Chicago Tribune

"These monumental volumes deserve a wide readership."

- St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Burlingame is a towering figure in Lincoln scholarship, and students of the 16th president have been waiting for this book for years. For all his learning—Burlingame may know more about Lincoln and his era than anyone in the world—his take on his subject is fresh, and he doesn't gloss over Lincoln's less appealing attributes. Abraham Lincoln comes as close to being the definitive biography as anything the world has seen in decades."


"An exhaustive and stylishly written biography."

- Greg Rienzi - Gazette

"A stunning feat of research."

- Michael F. Bishop - Publishers Weekly

"The two-volume set is being heralded as the ultimate new biography of Lincoln, an essential work to be used by all future biographers of the 16th president."

- Anne Byle - Grand Rapids Press

"The granddaddy of all the recent books [on Lincoln] is Michael Burlingame's Abraham Lincoln: A Life... monumental in size, depth and scholarship, this is the new standard biography of our time and surpasses all other life portraits of our 16th president, and is the most important book of the bicentennial."

- James L. Swanson - Washington Times

"No review could do complete justice to the magnificent two-volume biography that has been so well-wrought by Michael Burlingame."

- Christopher Hitchens - Atlantic Monthly

"The bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth has generated a plethora of Lincoln-related items, but none impresses more than this two-volume biography... Essential."

- Choice

"The author knows more about Lincoln than any other living person."

- James McPherson - New York Review of Books

"Most thorough account of the development of Lincoln as a man and politician against the backdrop of America's struggle to mature as an idea and a nation... Not a Lincoln for our times, but the Lincoln of his times, and future biographers would do well to take note(s)."

- Books and Culture: A Christian Review

"This magisterial work tells a rich, thoroughly documented, birth-to-death story of America's greatest president. Its bulk is formidable, but it holds countless rewards for undaunted readers."

- Jane Henderson - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Burlingame very likely knows more about Lincoln than anyone who's ever lived, including Mary Todd, and his biography, 20 years in the writing, has a revelation on every page, dug out during the biographer's tireless research into musty libraries and forgotten attics that no one has ever thought to look in before. If there is anything knowable that you want to know about Lincoln, this is the place to find it."

- Andrew Ferguson - American Spectator

"A monumental and meticulous two-volume study of the 16th president... should be required reading for anyone seriously interested in Lincoln."

- Mark Bowden - Atlantic


"Lincoln scholars have waited anxiously for this book for decades. Its triumphant publication proves it was well worth the wait. Few scholars have written with greater insight about the psychology of Lincoln. No one in recent history has uncovered more fresh sources than Michael Burlingame. This profound and masterful portrait will be read and studied for years to come."

- Doris Kearns Goodwin

"The remarkable breadth of Burlingame's research has resulted in a book unlike anything else written about Lincoln. It will be a major contribution to the field."

- Gerald J. Prokopowicz, East Carolina University

"Burlingame has developed a familiarity with the details of Lincoln's life that is truly authoritative, even definitive, and he has genuinely earned his reputation for knowing more about Lincoln than just about anyone who has ever studied him."

- Kenneth J. Winkle, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Johns Hopkins University Press
Volume 1
From 17


9781421409733 : abraham-lincoln-volume-1-burlingame
Paperback / softback
960 Pages
$32.95 USD
9781421410678 : abraham-lincoln-volume-1-burlingame
Electronic book text
960 Pages
$32.95 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
$40.00 USD - Electronic book text

Abraham Lincoln, Volume 2

Michael Burlingame
Apr 2013 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$32.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$32.95 USD - Electronic book text

Abraham Lincoln, 2-vol. set

Michael Burlingame
Jan 2009 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$142.00 USD - Hardback
$60.00 USD - Electronic book text

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Charles E. Neu
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Dear Alben

James K. Libbey
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