The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln

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9780252066672: The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln
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Published to a flurry of praise--and consternation--from Lincoln scholars, Burlingame's book takes a hard and unsentimental look at, among other things, Abraham Lincoln's excruciating yet fruitful midlife crisis, his marriage to a dishonest woman who often embarrassed and sometimes physically abused him, his estrangement from his father, his explosive temper, and his aversion to women.
 

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About the Author:

Michael Burlingame, a professor of history at Connecticut College, New London, is the editor of An Oral History of Abraham Lincoln: John G. Nicolay's Interviews and Essays and Inside Lincoln's White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, 1861-1865.
 

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In the tradition of psychobiography epitomized by Fawn Brodie (Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History, LJ 4/15/94), Connecticut College historian Burlin-game opens the psychiatrist's couch to Lincoln. The author claims no attempt to rewrite the story of Lincoln's life; rather, he traces the origin of Lincoln's furious temper, cruel streak, aversion to women, hatred of slavery, and stormy relationship with his temperamental wife. Lincoln has been the subject of other psychobiographies (e.g., Charles B. Strozier's Lincoln's Quest for Union, LJ 4/15/82), and Burlingame does much to synthesize these other works. At the same time, he challenges the work of Lincoln's traditional biographer, James G. Randall. Utilizing the papers of Lincoln's law partner, William H. Herndon, and contemporary newspaper accounts, the author gives us an aggregate picture of a troubled man. Whether you agree with Burlingame or not, his analysis is an important new look at the man who shaped the course of a nation in peril. Highly recommended for all academic and public libraries.
Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., Ala.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Publisher: University of Illinois Press, 1994
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