The 25 Best Books about Abraham Lincolnby Richard Davies
At least 15,000 books have been written about Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. If you wish to learn about the man who led the North during the American Civil War and issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 then you are not going to be restricted by choice. (AbeBooks alone has more than 67,000 copies of books with ‘Abraham Lincoln’ in the title).
No-one knows exactly how many books have been written about Honest Abe but in 2012 Ford’s Theatre Center for Education and Leadership in Washington DC constructed a 34-foot pillar of unique titles about Lincoln and it contained more than 15,000 books.
Books have been written about his childhood, his politics, his wartime leadership, his married life, his death, his speeches, his generals and admirals, his writing, his mental health and his legal career. There are biographies, history books, picture books, children’s books and fictional novels based on his life.
In recent years, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin has received a great deal of attention. In 2008, the then-Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama declared, if elected, he would want “a team of rivals” in his Cabinet. “I don’t want to have people who just agree with me. I want people who are continually pushing me out of my comfort zone,” he told Time Magazine. Obama, a keen reader, acknowledged the influence of Goodwin's book several times as he campaigned to become president.
Lincoln by David Herbert Donald, published in 1996, is also widely acknowledged as one of the better biographies of the man. Manhunt by James L. Swanson is a very readable book about the murder of the president, the motives of his killer John Wilkes Booth and the desperate manhunt over 12 days.
If you want to completely shake up history, then Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith might appeal (and that’s fiction by the way). Gore Vidal also wrote a historical novel about the man.
The Best Books about Abraham Lincoln
Uncollected Works of Abraham Lincoln
by Rufus Wilson
Lincoln: A Photobiography
by Russell Freedman
Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America
by Garry Wills
by Carl Sandburg
Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief
by James M. McPherson
Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness
by Joshua Wolf Shenk
Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer
by Fred Kaplan
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer
by James L. Swanson
by David Herbert Donald
Willie Speaks Out: The Psychic World of Abraham Lincoln
by Elliott V. Fleckles
We Are Lincoln Men: Abraham Lincoln and His Friends
by David Herbert Donald
Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths
by Stephen B. Oates
The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery
by Eric Foner
Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln
by Douglas L. Wilson
by Lord Charnwood
Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass & Abraham Lincoln
by John Stauffer
The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln
by CA Tripp & Lewis Gannett
Lincoln and his Generals
by T Harry Williams
Lincoln and His Admirals
by Craig L. Symonds
The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage
by Daniel Mark Epstein
by Thomas Keneally