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The Case of Abraham Lincoln: A Story of Adultery, Murder, and the Making of a Great President

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Good Detail, Weak on Focus

    The best part of this book is the rich detail about Abraham Lincoln's political life around 1856 and the life and times he experienced then. The negative part is that the title and subtitle hardly match what is inside. In fact, it is difficult to find a central theme to the book within its pages, except that it is about Lincoln in about 1856. The author tells us it is about THE Case of Lincoln? THE Case? Then, the subtitle tells us it is about adultery and murder, as if to somehow suggest, by ommission, that Lincoln is involved in both. The adultery and murder in this case is not about Lincoln, but about a family that lived in Springfield when he did. The author weaves this story in and out of seemingly unrelated information about Lincoln, except it was what he was doing at the same time. The only real link between Lincoln and this case is that he was acquaintance or relative to people involved in the legal aspects of it. It is almost like the author is searching for something new and different about Lincoln to sell and happened on this murder case and tried, in vain, to link Lincoln in some kind of meaningful way. It failed. It was also billed as the case that brought Lincoln to the public's attention. Hardly. The writing and research are good, but the book is misbilled and, after reading a dozen books about Lincoln by more known Lincoln scholars, I would say read the other first.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    If you like reading about President Lincoln, you will enjoy this book.

    I enjoy reading about Lincoln. The author did her homework and gave a different perspective of the man. I would recommend this book to all. It is sensative, enlighting and deals more with the man than with his relations to his family, etc.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    I agree with th first peraon that it it weak on focus.

    Still though if you are looking for things related to Abraham Lincoln this is a book for you. If you are looking for a book about Lincoln himself I suggest 101 facts about Lincoln.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2008

    Using Lincoln to Sell a Book

    Having just finished this book, I am filled with disappointment. While it purports to be a steamy tale of intrigue and murder closely involved with the life of Lincoln, the book is instead 90% boring political diatribe and 10% inadequately-reported murder mystery. The author switches subjects and locations from one paragraph to another in a dizzying display of poor writing. As for the case itself, Lincoln was only tangentially involved in the trial, and it is not until the last 40 pages or so that we get any good reading. The book is also filled with typographical errors which spellcheck could have fixed if anyone had cared enough to employ it. All in all a pathetic book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2008


    The Case of Abraham Lincoln is a fascinating glimpse into the political world and the criminal justice system of 1850s Illinois. In 1856 George Anderson is found murdered in his own back yard the prime suspects are Anderson's wife and nephew at the same time Abraham Lincoln is at the center of the forming of the Republican party and the rebirth of his political career. Julie M. Fenster sheds light on the two careers of Lincoln: lawyer and politican and the difficulties that Lincoln faced being both on the same time. Great details on how trails were conducted in the mid-nineteenth century and how political campigns were run.

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