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Bibliography of Abraham Lincoln

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Bibliography of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserving the Union and ending slavery. Before his election in 1860 as the first Republican president, Lincoln had been a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, a member of the United States House of Representatives, and twice an unsuccessful candidate for election to the U.S. Senate. As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States,[1][2] Lincoln won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was elected president later that year. His tenure in office was occupied primarily with the defeat of the secessionist Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. He introduced measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery, issuing his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoting the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. As the civil war was drawing to a close, Lincoln became the first American president to be assassinated; he had the largest funeral in the nation's history and his legacy became iconic for American nationalism and freedom.

In terms of primary sources containing Lincoln's letters and writings, scholars rely on The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy Basler, and others.[3] It only includes writings by Lincoln, and omits incoming correspondence. In the six decades since Basler completed his work, some new documents written by Lincoln have been discovered. Currently, a project is underway at the Papers of Abraham Lincoln to provide "a freely accessible comprehensive electronic edition of documents written by and to Abraham Lincoln".[4] The Papers of Abraham Lincoln completed Series I of their project The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln in 2000. They electronically launched The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln, Second Edition in 2009,[5] and published a selective print edition of this series.[6] At present they are engaged in locating, digitizing, and transcribing documents for Series II (non-legal, pre-presidential materials) and Series III (presidential materials).[7]

There have been 16,000 books published on Lincoln—125 on the assassination alone—more than any other American.[8][9] This listing is therefore highly selective and is based on the reviews in the scholarly journals, and recommended readings compiled by scholars.



  • Beveridge, Albert J. Abraham Lincoln: 1809-1858 (1928). 2 vol. to 1858; notable for strong, political coverage that tends to favor Stephen Douglas online edition
  • Burlingame, Michael. Abraham Lincoln: A Life (2 vol 2008); 2024pp; the most highly detailed life excerpt and text search
  • Carwardine, Richard. Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power (2003), prize winning
  • Lord Charnwood, Abraham Lincoln (1916), first bio by a non-American, excerpt and text search
  • DeRose, Chris "Congressman Lincoln: The Making of America’s Greatest President" (2013) Strong political coverage, especially the one term in Congress.
  • Donald, David Herbert. Lincoln (1999) The most useful scholarly biography. excerpt and text search
  • Gienapp, William E. Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America: A Biography (2002), short bio by scholar, online edition
  • Goodwin, Doris Kearns. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (2005), winner of the Lincoln Prize, basis for Lincoln.
  • Guelzo, Allen C. Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (1999) online edition
  • Harris William C. Lincoln's Rise to the Presidency (2007) conservative author argues Lincoln was basically conservative excerpt and text search
  • Oates, Stephen B. With Malice Toward None: The Life of Abraham Lincoln (1994) excerpt and text search
  • Randall, James G. Lincoln the President (4 vol., 1945–55; reprint 2000.) by prize-winning scholar
    • Mr. Lincoln excerpts ed. by Richard N. Current (1957) online edition
  • Sandburg, Carl. Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years (2 vol 1926); The War Years (4 vol 1939). Pulitzer Prize–winning biography by famous poet vol. 1 online vol 2 online
  • Thomas, Benjamin P. Abraham Lincoln: A Biography (1952; 2nd ed. 2008) online edition
  • White, Jr., Ronald C. (2009). A. Lincoln: A Biography. Random House, Inc.  

Specialty topics

  • Angle, Paul M., Here I Have Lived: A History of Lincoln's Springfield, 1821–1865, (1935) online edition
  • Belz, Herman. Abraham Lincoln, Constitutionalism, and Equal Rights in the Civil War Era (1998)
  • Boritt, Gabor S. Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream (1994). Lincoln's economic theory and policies
  • Boritt, Gabor S. ed. Lincoln the War President (1994)
  • Bruce, Robert V. Lincoln and the Tools of War (1956) on weapons development during the war online edition
  • Bush, Bryan S. Lincoln and the Speeds: The Untold Story of a Devoted and Enduring Friendship (2008) ISBN 978-0-9798802-6-1
  • Chittenden, Lucius E., Recollections of President Lincoln and His Administration, (1891). – Google Books
  • Donald, David Herbert. Lincoln Reconsidered: Essays on the Civil War Era (1960)
  • Donald, David Herbert. We Are Lincoln Men: Abraham Lincoln and His Friends Simon & Schuster, (2003).
  • Emerson, James (2007). The Madness of Mary Lincoln. Southern Illinois University Press. ISBN 978-0-8093-2771-3.
  • Foner, Eric. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (2011); Pulitzer Prize excerpt and text search
  • Guelzo, Allen C., Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America, Simon & Schuster (2004). ISBN 0-7432-2182-6
  • Guelzo, Allen C., Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates that Defined America, Simon & Schuster (2008). ISBN 978-0-7432-7320-6
  • Hall, Roger Lee (2009). Lincoln and Liberty: Music from Abraham Lincoln's Era. PineTree Press. 
  • Harris, William C. With Charity for All: Lincoln and the Restoration of the Union (1997). AL's plans for Reconstruction
  • Hendrick, Burton J. Lincoln's War Cabinet (1946) online edition
  • Hofstadter, Richard. The American Political Tradition: And the Men Who Made It (1948) ch 5: "Abraham Lincoln and the Self-Made Myth"
  • Howe, Daniel Walker, Why Abraham Lincoln Was a Whig. Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 16.1 (1995)
  • Lea, James Henry (1909). The Ancestry of Abraham Lincoln. Houghton Mifflin. 
  • Kunhardt Jr., Phillip B., Kunhardt III, Phillip, and Kunhardt, Peter W. Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography. Gramercy Books, New York, 1992. ISBN 0-517-20715-X
  • McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (1988). Pulitzer Prize winner surveys all aspects of the war
  • Neely, Mark E. The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties (1992). Pulitzer Prize winner. online version
  • Neely, Mark E. Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation: Constitutional Conflict and the American Civil War (2011)
  • Oakes, James. The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2007. ISBN 0-393-06194-9
  • Ostendorf, Lloyd, and Hamilton, Charles, Lincoln in Photographs: An Album of Every Known Pose, Morningside House Inc., 1963, ISBN 0-89029-087-3.
  • Paludan, Philip S. The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln (1994), thorough treatment of Lincoln's administration
  • Polsky, Andrew J. "'Mr. Lincoln's Army' Revisited: Partisanship, Institutional Position, and Union Army Command, 1861–1865." Studies in American Political Development (2002), 16: 176–207
  • Randall, James G. Lincoln the Liberal Statesman (1947)
  • Richardson, Heather Cox. The Greatest Nation of the Earth: Republican Economic Policies during the Civil War (1997)
  • Shenk, Joshua Wolf. Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness (2005)
  • Kenneth P. Williams. Lincoln Finds a General: A Military Study of the Civil War (1959) 5 volumes on Lincoln's control of the war
  • White, Jonathan W. Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman (2011)
  • White, Jonathan W. Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln (2014)
  • Williams, T. Harry. Lincoln and His Generals (1967).
  • Wilson, Douglas L. Lincoln's Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words(2006) ISBN 1-4000-4039-6.

Historiography and memory

  • Boritt, Gabor S., ed. The Historian's Lincoln U. of Illinois Press, 1988
  • Burkhimer, Michael. One hundred essential Lincoln books (2003), examines the major books
  • Foner, Eric, ed. Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World (2009), essays by scholars excerpt and text search
  • Kunhardt III, Philip B. et al. Looking for Lincoln: The Making of an American Icon (2011)
  • Peterson, Merrill D. Lincoln in American Memory (1994). how Lincoln was remembered after 1865
  • Schwartz, Barry. Abraham Lincoln and the Forge of National Memory (2003) excerpt and text search
  • Schwartz, Barry. Abraham Lincoln in the post-heroic era: history and memory in late twentieth-century America (2008) excerpt and text search

Lincoln in art and popular culture

Primary sources

Attacks on Lincoln


  1. ^ Goodwin 2005, p. 91
  2. ^ Holzer 2004, p. 232
  3. ^ Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln
  4. ^ Papers of Abraham Lincoln
  5. ^ Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln
  6. ^ Stowell, ed. The Papers of Abraham Lincoln: Legal Documents and Cases
  7. ^ Papers of Abraham Lincoln
  8. ^ Steven Levingston, "Bill O’Reilly’s 'Lincoln' book banned from Ford’s Theatre because of 'mistakes'," Nov. 12.2011'"Washington Post
  9. ^ "The Lincoln Compulsion", Time

External links

  • , August 22, 1993.The Lincoln-Douglas Debates interview with Harold Holzer on Booknotes
  • , June 12, 1994.The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America interview with Mark Neely on Booknotes
  • , August 14, 1994.Lincoln in American Memory interview with Merrill D. Peterson on Booknotes
  • , December 24, 1995.Lincoln interview with David Herbert Donald on Booknotes
  • , March 29, 1998.Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln interview with Douglas Wilson on Booknotes
  • , April 16, 2000.Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President interview with Allen C. Guelzo on Booknotes
  • , September 10, 2000.Forced Into Glory interview with Lerone Bennett, Jr. on Booknotes
  • , February 17, 2002.Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln interview with Edward Steers, Jr. on Booknotes
  • , November 10, 2002.Judging Lincoln interview with Frank Williams on Booknotes
  • , December 21, 2003.Lincoln's Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln and the Soldiers' Home interview with Matthew Pinsker on Booknotes
  • , July 25, 2004.Why Lincoln Matters interview with Mario Cuomo on Booknotes
  • , 1860-1861, November 9, 2008Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter interview with Harold Holzer on Q&AC-SPAN
  • discussion of books on Lincoln, February 1, 2009In Depth with Frank J. Williams and Edna Greene Medford.
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