Lincoln's Lie: A True Civil War Caper Through Fake News, Wall Street, and the White House

Lincoln's Lie: A True Civil War Caper Through Fake News, Wall Street, and the White House

by Elizabeth Mitchell


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Monday, May 23


A thrilling dive into the little–known, darker side of a revered president’s history, Lincoln’s Lie untangles the threads behind a mysterious 1864 newspaper article to reveal how Lincoln manipulated the media during the Civil War, shining new light onto today’s issues of fake news and presidential conflict with the press.

In 1864, during the bloodiest days of the Civil War, two newspapers published a call, allegedly authored by President Lincoln, for the immediate conscription of 400,000 more Union soldiers. New York streets erupted in pandemonium. Wall Street markets went wild.

When Lincoln sent troops to seize the newspaper presses and arrest the editors, it became clear: The proclamation was a lie. Who put out this fake news? Was it a Confederate spy hoping to incite another draft riot? A political enemy out to ruin the president in an election year? Or was there some truth to the proclamation—far more truth than anyone suspected?

Unpacking this overlooked historical mystery for the first time, journalist Elizabeth Mitchell takes readers on a dramatic journey from newspaper offices filled with heroes and charlatans to the haunted White House confinement of Mary Todd Lincoln, from the packed pews of the celebrated preacher Reverend Henry Ward Beecher’s Plymouth Church to the War Department offices in the nation’s capital and a Grand Jury trial.

In Lincoln’s Lie, Mitchell brings to life the remarkable story of the manipulators of the news and why they decided to play such a dangerous game during a critical period of American history. Her account of Lincoln’s troubled relationship to the press and its role in the Civil War is one that speaks powerfully to our current political crises: fake news, profiteering, Constitutional conflict, and a president at war with the press.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640095366
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 02/08/2022
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,121,022
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Mitchell has authored nonfiction books, covering politics, sports and history, including her most recent acclaimed saga, Liberty’s Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty. Her novella–length work, The Fearless Mrs. Goodwin, was a nonfiction bestseller. Formerly the executive editor of George, the nation’s largest political magazine, she has worked as an investigative reporter and features writer. She makes her home in Brooklyn, New York.

Table of Contents

1 The Bombshell 3

2 A Laughing Stock 9

3 The Crime 37

4 A Hot Day on Wall Street 51

5 A Warning from Washington 69

6 Stop the Presses 87

7 The Hunt 107

8 Clues and Missteps 131

9 Shadow Maneuvers 145

10 Fun Ahead 155

11 A Presidency on Trial 179

12 The Gold Key 207

13 Popular as the Air 227

Acknowledgments 249

Notes 253

Index 281

Customer Reviews