Synopses & Reviews
A new book—and companion to the Steven Spielberg film—tracing how Abraham Lincoln came to view slavery . . . and came to end it.
Steven Spielberg focused his movie Lincoln on the sixteenth president's tumultuous final months in office, when he pursued a course of action to end the Civil War, reunite the country, and abolish slavery. Invited by the filmmakers to write a special Lincoln book as a companion to the film, Harold Holzer, the distinguished historian and a consultant on the movie, now gives us a fast-paced, exciting new book on Lincoln's life and times, his evolving beliefs about slavery, and how he maneuvered to end it.
The story starts on January 31, 1865—less than three months before Lincoln's assassination—as the president anxiously awaits word on whether Congress will finally vote to pass the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Although the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier had authorized the army to liberate slaves in Confederate territory, only a Constitutional amendment passed by Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the states would end slavery legally everywhere in the country.
Drawing from letters, speeches, memoirs, and documents by Lincoln and others, Holzer goes on to cover Lincoln's boyhood, his moves from Kentucky to Indiana to Illinois, his work as a lawyer and congressman, his unsuccessful candidacies for the U.S. Senate and his victory in two presidential elections, his arduous duties in the Civil War as commander in chief, his actions as president, and his relationships with his family, political rivals, and associates. Holzer provides a fresh view of America in those turbulent times, as well as fascinating insights into the challenges Lincoln faced as he weighed his personal beliefs against his presidential duties in relation to the slavery issue.
The passage of the Thirteenth Amendment would become the crowning achievement of Abraham Lincoln's life and the undisputed testament to his political genius. By viewing his life through this prism, Holzer makes an important passage in American history come alive for readers of all ages.
The book also includes thirty historical photographs, a chronology, a historical cast of characters, texts of selected Lincoln writings, a bibliography, and notes.
"Lincoln historian Holzer (Father Abraham: Lincoln and His Sons) offers a cogent young readers' companion to Steven Spielberg's film, Lincoln. The account opens on January 31, 1865, the day that the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery passed the House of Representatives (after having failed to do so months earlier). Holzer considerably expands the scope of the story unveiled in the movie and shapes an intuitive standalone book. The author provides cohesive background information on the man who became the Great Emancipator, touching upon his boyhood, early legal and political careers, and family life. The narrative frequently incorporates Lincoln's spoken and written words to convey his true voice, while closely monitoring his evolving stance on slavery and racial equality. The momentum builds steadily as Lincoln runs for a second term, determined not to compromise slaves' freedom by bowing to heavy pressure to end the Civil War. After winning the election deftly and dramatically, he maneuvers the passage of the landmark amendment. An engrossing, well-rounded portrait of Lincoln as a humble, humorous, and passionate politician and humanitarian. Ages 18 up. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
One of the leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln has written a companion book for Steven Spielbergs newly released film on the 16th president.The book by New York historian and author Harold Holzer, titled “Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America,” is geared toward young readers. Associated Press
The book is a delight, written for young people who may be discovering Lincoln and the Civil War for the first time. . . This may be the book that brings along a whole new generation of Lincoln fans. Washington Post
An engrossing, well-rounded portrait of Lincoln as a humble, humorous, and passionate politician and humanitarian. Publishers Weekly
Holzer highlights the emotional turmoil and the rocky political landscape Lincoln astutely navigated to ensure the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. School Library Journal
LINCOLN invites young readers to explore Lincolns life and times. The book engagingly captures the trials and tribulations of the 16th president, making Lincoln come alive for a new generation. It serves as a worthy companion to a popular film. J. Michael Martinez, Blue & Gray Magazine
About the Author
Harold Holzer, one of the country's leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era, has more than forty books to his credit, including Father Abraham: Lincoln and His Sons
and The President Is Shot!
. He is a frequent guest on television, acted as a Content Consultant to the Steven Spielberg film Lincoln
, and serves as chairman of the Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation. He lives in New York City.
Amy Jurskis, the author of these teaching materials, holds a B.A. in English from the University of Georgia and a MAT from Agnes Scott College. A former department chair for language arts in a title one public school in Atlanta, she currently serves as a chairperson of curriculum and English teacher at Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches.