Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of Abraham Lincoln
Cover image of Abraham Lincoln
Share this Title:

Abraham Lincoln

A Life

Michael Burlingame

Volume
Volume 1
Publication Date
Binding Type
Request Exam CopyRequest Review Copy

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…

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.

Jump to
Quick Add
Abraham Lincoln

Michael Burlingame

Volume
Volume 1
Publication Date
Binding Type
Request Exam CopyRequest Review Copy
Related

Related Books

Cover image of William Donald Schaefer
William Donald Schaefer

C. Fraser Smith

$42.00
Quick Add
William Donald Schaefer

C. Fraser Smith

Publication Date
Binding Type
Cover image of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

Michael Burlingame

Volume
Volume 2
$35.00
Quick Add
Abraham Lincoln

Michael Burlingame

Volume
Volume 2
Publication Date
Binding Type
Preorder
Cover image of Replayed
Replayed

Henry Lowood
edited by Raiford Guins

$50.00
Quick Add
Replayed

Henry Lowood
edited by Raiford Guins

Publication Date: June 6, 2023
Binding Type
Preorder
Cover image of Making Machines of Animals
Making Machines of Animals

Neal A. Knapp

$60.00
Quick Add
Making Machines of Animals

Neal A. Knapp

Publication Date: May 9, 2023
Binding Type
Preorder
Cover image of A Centaur in London
A Centaur in London

Fabian Kraemer

$60.00
Quick Add
A Centaur in London

Fabian Kraemer

Publication Date: April 25, 2023
Binding Type
Reviews

Reviews

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.

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

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.

A magisterial enterprise.

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

See All Reviews
About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
7
x
10
Pages
960
ISBN
9781421409733
Illustration Description
32 halftones
Table of Contents

Author's Note
1. "I Have Seen a Good Deal of the Back Side of This World" Childhood in Kentucky (1809–1816)
2. "I Used to Be a Slave" Boyhood and Adolescence in Indiana (1816–1830)
3. "Separated from His

Author's Note
1. "I Have Seen a Good Deal of the Back Side of This World" Childhood in Kentucky (1809–1816)
2. "I Used to Be a Slave" Boyhood and Adolescence in Indiana (1816–1830)
3. "Separated from His Father, He Studied English Grammar" New Salem (1831–1834)
4. "A Napoleon of Astuteness and Political Finesse" Frontier Legislator (1834–1837)
5. "We Must Fight the Devil with Fire" Slasher-Gaff Politico in Springfield (1837–1841)
6. "It Would Just Kill Me to Marry Mary Todd" Courtship and Marriage (1840–1842)
7. "I Have Got the Preacher by the Balls" Pursuing a Seat in Congress (1843–1847)
8. "A Strong but Judicious Enemy to Slavery" Congressman Lincoln (1847–1849)
9. "I Was Losing Interest in Politics and Went to the Practice of the Law with Greater Earnestness Than Ever Before" Midlife Crisis (1849–1854)
10. "Aroused as He Had Never Been Before" Reentering Politics (1854–1855)
11. "Unite with Us, and Help Us to Triumph" Building the Illinois Republican Party (1855–1857)
12. "A House Divided" Lincoln vs. Douglas (1857–1858)
13. A David Greater than the Democratic Goliath" The Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1858)
14. "That Presidential Grub Gnaws Deep" Pursuing the Republican Nomination (1859–1860)
15. "The Most Available Presidential Candidate for Unadulterated Republicans" The Chicago Convention (May 1860)
16. "I Have Been Elected Mainly on the Cry 'Honest Old Abe'" The Presidential Campaign (May–November 1860)
17. "I Will Suffer Death Before I Will Consent to Any Concession or Compromise": President-elect in Springfield (1860–1861)
18. "What If I Appoint Cameron, Whose Very Name Stinks in the Nostrils of the People for His Corruption?": Cabinet-Making in Springfield (1860–1861)
19. "The Man Does Not Live Who Is More Devoted to Peace Than I Am, But It May Be Necessary to Put the Foot Down Firmly" From Springfield to Washington, February 11-22, 1861
20. "I Am Now Going To Be Master" Inauguration, February 23-March 4, 1861
21. "A Man So Busy Letting Rooms in One End of His House, That He Can't Stop to Put Out the Fire that is Burning in the Other" Distributing Patronage, March-April 1861
22. "You Can Have No Conflict Without Being Yourselves the Aggressors" The Fort Sumter Crisis, March-April 1861
23. "I Intend to Give Blows" The Hundred Days, April-July 1861
24. "Sitzkrieg" The Phony War, August 1861-January 1862
25. "This Damned Old House" The Lincoln Family in the Executive Mansion
26. "I Expect to Maintain This Contest Until Successful, or Till I Die, or Am Conquered, or My Term Expires, or Congress or the Country Forsakes Me": From the Slough of Despond to the Gates of Richmond, January-July, 1862
27. "The Hour Comes for Dealing with Slavery" January-July 1862
28. "Would You Prosecute the War with Elder-Stalk Squirts, Charged with Rose Water?" The Soft War Turns Hard, July-September 1862
29. "The Great Event of the Nineteenth Century" September-December 1862
30. "Go Forward, and Give Us Victories" From the Mud March to Gettysburg, January-July 1863
31. "The Signs Look Better" Victory at the Polls and in the Field, July-November 1863
32. "I Hope to Stand Firm Enough to Not Go Backward, and YetNot Go Forward Fast Enough to Wreck the Country's Cause": Reconstruction and Renomination, November 1863-June 1864
33. "Hold on with a Bulldog Grip and Chew and Choke as Much as Possible" The Grand Offensive, May-August, 1864
34. "The Wisest Radical of All" Reelection, September-November, 1864
35. "Let the Thing Be Pressed" Victory at Last, November 1864-April 1865
36. "I Feel a Presentiment That I Shall Not Outlast theRebellion. When It Is Over, My Work Will Be Done" April 9-15, 1865
Notes

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Michael Burlingame, Ph.D.

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.