Wolfner :: Recommended Readings :: Adult Bibliographies :: Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

portrait of Abe Lincoln

 

(Updated February 2014)

Abraham Lincoln, a self-taught Illinois lawyer and legislator was born February 12, 1809. Lincoln was elected president in 1860 and is widely regarded as one of the greatest presidents in the nation's history.

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A. Lincoln: A Biography by Ronald White
Read by Jake Williams. Reading time: 30 hours, 31 minutes. 
Chronological narrative of President Abraham Lincoln's life describing the influence of his stepmother Sarah, his political rise in Illinois, and his election campaigns. White, a fellow at the Huntington Library, uses primary sources to offer insight into Lincoln's moral and intellectual thinking. Bestseller. 2009.
A. Lincoln: A Biography DB 69003

 

Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by James M. McPherson
Read by Bob Askey. Reading time: 5 hours, 11 minutes. 
Seven essays explore the effects of the Civil War on the economic, political, and social climate in the United States during Lincoln's presidency. In the author's view, the Civil War amounted to a second American revolution in which Lincoln defined the purpose of the war and formed a strategy for success that became national in scope. By the winner of the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for History.
Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution DB 33772

 

Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years by Carl Sandburg
Read by Roy Avers. Reading time: 42 hours, 55 minutes. 
Historical biography of Lincoln as a man and as president. An exhaustively researched portrait of the country lawyer whose leadership guided the United States through the Civil War. Sandburg's one-volume distillation of his original six-volume work. 1954.
Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years DB 54121

 

Abraham Lincoln, The War Years by Carl Sandburg
Read by Barbara Brown. Reading time: 17 hours, 30 minutes. 
A sequel to 'The Prairie Years,' this exhaustive study continues the biography of Lincoln and his times from his election to the Presidency through the Civil War to his assassination.
Abraham Lincoln, the War Years DB 11766

 

American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies b Michael W. Kauffman
Read by Peter Berkrot. Reading time: 20 hours, 33 minutes. 
Scholar examines the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth and his band of disaffected Marylanders. Analyzes documents and artifacts to identify Booth's plans. Discusses his manipulation of coconspirators and innocent bystanders such as Dr. Samuel A. Mudd. Presents the criminal case as it developed in 1865. 2004.
American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies DB 64131

 

The Assassin's Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln by Kate Clifford Larson
Read by Laural Merlington. Reading time: 8 hours, 25 minutes. 
Author of Bound for the Promised Land (RC 64511) investigates the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Focuses on the involvement of boarding-house owner Mary Surratt. Reexamines primary documents to assert that Mary and her son John, both Confederate sympathizers, participated in John Wilkes Booth's plot. Commercial audiobook. 2008.
The Assassin's Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln DB 66976

 

Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse by James L. Swanson
Read by Don Hagen. Reading time: 15 hours, 30 minutes. 
Author of Manhunt: The Twelve-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer (DB 62040) depicts the 1865 flight and capture of Confederate president Jefferson Davis and the journey of the funeral train that bore the body of Abraham Lincoln to Illinois. Also traces Davis's career after his imprisonment. 2010.
Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse DB 72108

 

The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties by Mark E. Neely
Read by Bob Butz. Reading time: 12 hours, 59 minutes. 
Winner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize in history. Civil War specialist focuses on one of President Lincoln's most controversial acts--the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. This account is based mainly on the arrest and detention records of civilians and military prisoners. The author concludes that "war and its effect on civil liberties remain a frightening unknown."
The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties DB 35528

 

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner
Read by Michael Scherer. Reading time: 15 hours, 9 minutes. 
Chronicles the evolution of Lincoln's ideas about slavery, from his early career in Illinois and membership in the new Republican Party in the 1850s to his presidency during the Civil War. Discusses the impact that religion, the abolitionist movement, and political necessities had on his beliefs. Pulitzer Prize. 2010.
The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery DB 73190

 

Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln by Jason Emerson
Read by Jake Williams. Reading time: 31 hours, 50 minutes. 
Biography of Robert T. Lincoln (1843-1926), the only son of Abraham Lincoln to reach adulthood. Discusses the political career of the Harvard-educated Chicago lawyer and businessman as a diplomat and U.S. secretary of war. Analyzes his relationship with his mother and covers the management of his father's legacy. 2012.
Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln DB 76070

 

Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States
Read by Jack Fox. Reading time: 14 hours, 6 minutes. 
Inaugural speeches reveal American presidents' visions and policies. Features George Washington's address to the first U.S. Congress, Abraham Lincoln's two Civil War-era appeals to citizens, and Franklin Roosevelt's fourth address during World War II. 2009.
Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States DB 75274

 

The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln by Michael Burlingame
Read by Bill Wallace. Reading time: 14 hours, 36 minutes. 
A psychobiography by a Connecticut College professor of history. Burlingame uses mainly Jungian psychological theories to interpret Lincoln's personality, family relationships, marriage, "midlife crisis," and political attitudes. Burlingame traces Lincoln's melancholia to "bereavement in childhood" and his lack of "capacity to trust women" to ambivalence about his mother.
The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln DB 41759

 

Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
Read by Mike Stefanelli. Reading time: 9 hours, 46 minutes. 
Political commentator O'Reilly and historian Dugard recount the last weeks of the Civil War in the spring of 1865. The authors follow actor John Wilkes Booth and his coconspirators as they plotted revenge for the South and assassinated President Abraham Lincoln on April 14. Bestseller. 2011.
Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever DB 73850

 

Lincoln by David Herbert Donald
Read by Lou Harpenau. Reading time: 32 hours, 10 minutes. 
Pulitzer Prize winner David Donald analyzes Lincoln's presidency from a psychological perspective, looking at the information and background the sixteenth president brought to his decisions. Donald's biography incorporates insights from the Abraham Lincoln Papers, which were sealed at the time of earlier major biographies. The influences of Lincoln's loving stepmother, his beautiful and well-connected wife, and others on his life are explored.
Lincoln DB 44059

 

Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power by Richard Carwardine
Read by Jake Williams. Reading time: 18 hours, 5 minutes. 
Assesses Abraham Lincoln's political career in peacetime and as the only U.S. president to contend with civil war. Examines his beliefs and ambitions, effectiveness in state politics and Congress, and emergence as a national leader. Discusses Lincoln's development on issues from restoring the Union to emancipation. Lincoln Prize. 2006.
Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power DB 65350

 

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The First Complete, Unexpurgated Text
Read by Roy Avers. Reading time: 15 hours, 18 minutes. 
Editor Harold Holzer asserts that remarks by Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas in an 1858 U.S. Senate contest have been obscured and distorted through partisanship and editorial duplicity. Now Holzer sets the record straight with exact transcriptions of the opponents' seven confrontations, supplemented by an introduction and notes on the climate of opinion just before the Civil War.
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The First Complete, Unexpurgated Text DB 38793

 

Lincoln's Men: How President Lincoln Became Father to an Army and a Nation by William C. David
Read by David Elias. Reading time: 11 hours, 57 minutes. 
Explores the role of Abraham Lincoln as the practical and inspirational leader of the Union Army. An examination of letters and diaries of Union soldiers reveals their affection for the president, their belief that he understood and supported them, and their abiding loyalty to "Father Abraham." 1999.
Lincoln's Men: How President Lincoln Became Father to an Army and a Nation DB 49400

 

Lincoln's War: The Untold Story of America's Greatest President as Commander in Chief by Geoffrey Perret
Read by Butch Hoover. Reading time: 16 hours, 53 minutes. 
The author of Eisenhower (DB 49646) demonstrates from National Archives documents that Abraham Lincoln redefined the presidency by expanding his "war powers." Contends that ignoring military, political, and legal restraints Lincoln successfully prevented the South from seceding from the Union. 2004.
Lincoln's War: The Untold Story of America's Greatest President as Commander in Chief DB 58574

 

Manhunt: The Twelve-day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson
Read by Don Hagen. Reading time: 16 hours, 15 minutes. 
Chronicles the days after the April 14, 1865, assassination of Abraham Lincoln as Union cavalry searched the city and surrounding countryside for John Wilkes Booth. Covers the capture of Booth, the trial of the coconspirators, and the fight over the reward money. Violence and strong language. Bestseller. 2006.
Manhunt: The Twelve-day Chase for Lincoln's killer DB 62040

 

The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln by Phillip S. Paludan
Read by Randy Atcher. Reading time: 17 hours, 1 minute. 
A Civil War scholar analyzes Lincoln's administration. Proceeding chronologically, Paludan examines Lincoln's presidency beginning with his election and the formation of his cabinet. The author asserts that no other president ever faced greater challenges in defending the oath of office. And he credits Lincoln with resolving two of the greatest struggles in American history: saving the Union and freeing the slaves.
The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln DB 39423

 

Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year by David Von Drehle
Read by Robertson Dean. Reading time: 17 hours, 3 minutes. 
The author of Triangle (DB 57638) posits that 1862 was a pivotal year for the United States and for president Abraham Lincoln. Presents a month-by-month account of the political and military battles that threatened the country and discusses personal events--including the death of Lincoln's son. Commercial audiobook. 2012.
Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year DB 76078

 

Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man by Walter Stahr
Read by Don Hagen. Reading time: 23 hours, 39 minutes. 
Biography of William Henry Seward (1801-1872), the Whig governor and senator from New York who served as secretary of state under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. Highlights Seward's accomplishments during the Civil War and afterwards, including negotiating the purchase of Alaska from Russia and pressuring France to leave Mexico. 2012.
Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man DB 76024

 

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kerns Goodwin
Read by Robert Sams. Reading time: 37 hours, 57 minutes. 
Pulitzer Prize-winner illustrates the political acumen of Abraham Lincoln. Highlights the careers of Lincoln's three prime competitors in the Republican party--William Seward, Salmon Chase, and Edward Bates, men more qualified and educated, whom he beat for the 1860 nomination for chief executive. Discusses their subsequent appointments to the cabinet. Bestseller. 2005.
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln DB 61162

 

Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief by James M. McPherson
Read by Butch Hoover. Reading time: 9 hours, 57 minutes. 
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian highlights the role President Abraham Lincoln played as the head of the U.S. military during the Civil War. Stresses Lincoln's study and application of war strategies and his development of a political and national policy that focused on preserving the union. Bestseller. 2008.
Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief DB 67863

 

Two Roads to Sumter by William Bruce Catton and Bruce Catton
Catton, William Bruce; Catton, Bruce. Reading time: 11 hours, 56 minutes. 
Read by Lynn Smith. 
Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis were born in Kentucky, less than one hundred miles apart, and within a year of each other. Using their lives and careers as theme and framework, the authors recreate the tragic history of the differences between the North and South that led to the Civil War. 1963.
Two Roads to Sumter DB 27729

 

The Valley of Shadows by Francis Grierson
Read by Livingston Gilbert.  Reading time: 7 hours, 53 minutes. 
Classic work first published in 1909 re-creates the psychological atmosphere before the Civil War and depicts the indomitable pioneers of both fact and legend in Abraham Lincoln's Middle West.
The Valley of Shadows DB 10551

 

"We are Lincoln Men": Abraham Lincoln and his Friends by David Herbert Donald
Read by Roy Avers. Reading time: 7 hours, 45 minutes. 
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian draws from the recollections and memoirs of a variety of Abraham Lincoln's partners, associates, and political allies to examine the significance of friendship to him and his career. Donald profiles six people the intensely private Lincoln most valued: Speed, Herndon, Browning, Seward, Nicolay, and Hay. 2003.
"We are Lincoln Men": Abraham Lincoln and his Friends DB 57829



With Malice Toward None: A Life of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen B. Oates
Read by Lou Harpenau. Reading time: 19 hours, 19 minutes. 
Award-winning historian uses primary and secondary sources to illuminate the personal and professional life of Abraham Lincoln. Depicts Lincoln's struggle to succeed in the legal and business fields, his disappointing early political career, and his wartime presidency. Discusses his depression and later estrangement from his wife. Some strong language. 1977.
With Malice Toward None: A Life of Abraham Lincoln DB 72893

 

Braille books

Abraham Lincoln by Thomas Keneally

2 volumes. 
A concise biography of the Civil War president. Discusses Lincoln's backwoods upbringing, storytelling gift, and entry into politics. Focuses on his presidency during a pivotal time in United States history. 2003.
Abraham Lincoln, BR 14625; 2 Volumes. Volume 1. Volume 2.

 

The Avenger Takes his Place: Andrew Johnson and the 45 Days that Changed the Nation by Howard B. Means

Means, Howard B. 3 volumes. 
Traces the events surrounding President Abraham Lincoln's April 14, 1865, assassination, when Vice President Andrew Johnson from Tennessee unexpectedly became the nation's leader. Highlights Johnson's May 29, 1865, unilateral decision to grant amnesty to Confederates who took a loyalty oath. Discusses his battles with the Radical Republicans in Congress. 2006.
The Avenger Takes his Place: Andrew Johnson and the 45 Days that Changed the Nation, BR 17255; 3 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. 

 

Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer by Fred Kaplan

4 volumes
Explores the life of Abraham Lincoln through the language of his writings. Posits that Lincoln's boyhood readings of Burns, Byron, Shakespeare, Aesop's fables, and the Bible shaped his ideas about liberty, love, and human nature and led to his use of clear, common speech to convey morality and democracy. 2008.
Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer, BR 18404; 4 Volumes. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4. 

 

Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with our Greatest President by Edward Steers

3 volumes.
The author dispels fourteen common myths about U.S. BR 18078. Includes rumors about his birthplace and illegitimacy, religious conversion, love affair with Ann Rutledge, homosexual tendencies, and the assassination conspiracy theory. 2007.
Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with our Greatest President, BR 18078. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3.