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The essential works on Abraham Lincoln

Anthony B. Ford
The list author says: "The number of books about Abraham Lincoln and interpretations of his life and beliefs, as well as on his assassination, grows yearly. This list will NOT include books that gratuitously insult Lincoln's memory, but will include books which promise to enlighten the reader as to the character of our 16th President, routinely listed by historians at the top of the list of US presidents published yearly.

My original introduction to Lincoln was by my mother when I was around five years old (in 1958), and concerned questions I had about why someone would have killed him. From there, through years of collecting works about various aspects of his life, I have accumulated what I believe will tell most readers just about everything they need to know about this man, whom I believe to be our greatest president, and who not only ended the abomination of slavery but preserved the United States of America."
Abraham Lincoln: A Life
Abraham Lincoln: A Life
"The greatest Lincoln biography to date, and I predict it will be the standard by which other Lincoln biographies are judged."
Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
"Meticulously researched, and in my opinion, the best account of the Lincoln assassination.  If you only have one book on the subject, this should be the book."
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
"Goodwin does an excellent job of highlighting each member of the cabinet and their oftentimes prickly, but in the end admiring, relationship with President Lincoln."
Lincoln's Herndon. Introd. by Carl Sandburg
Lincoln's Herndon. Introd. by Carl Sandburg
"An essential primary-source book by Lincoln's old law partner in Springfield, Illinois.  Herndon does not sugar-coat his old friend, or his family."
Lincoln
Lincoln
"One of the finest biographies of Lincoln to exist.  Mr. Donald is a top-notch researcher and writer, and this is a book that no Lincoln scholar should be without."
Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography
Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography
"Wonderful photographs of Lincoln throughout the period from his early work as a lawyer to the end of his life.  The Kunhardt family is famous for having probably the greatest collection of Lincoln photographs in existence."
American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies
American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies
"Best work I have read focusing on the motivation behind John Wilkes Booth's assassination of Lincoln, including his assembling of co-conspirators and delineation of his mindset about racism and Lincoln's determination to end slavery.  A blow-by-blow book detailing the events leading up to the act, and the end of Booth."
Stealing Lincoln's Body
Stealing Lincoln's Body
"A recent addition, and one which covers a subject which few people knew about -- a gang of counterfeiters plan to steal the corpse of Abraham Lincoln and to hold it for ransom in order to get a fellow counterfeiter released from prison.  This book caught me by surprise.  While I knew this had happened, I have heretofore only seen brief mention of it in any book.  Excellent job."
Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer (P.S.)
Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer (P.S.)
"The complete rundown on events from the assassination of President Lincoln to the death of assassin John Wilkes Booth in a tobacco barn in Virginia.  Excellent, detailed, and well-illustrated."
Lincoln's Assassins: Their Trial and Execution
Lincoln's Assassins: Their Trial and Execution
"An excellent companion volume to Swanson's book, Manhunt, in which copious amounts of photographs are highlighted in this description of the trials of the conspirators involved in Lincoln's assassination, including a series of photographs of the hanging of the conspirators for their involvement."
Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (Library of Religious Biography)
Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (Library of Religious Biography)
"Author Allen Guelzo adds a religious perspective to Lincoln's life and character.  An excellent job, and a different take on Lincoln."
Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with Our Greatest President
Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with Our Greatest President
"Covering subjects such as the romance between Abraham Lincoln and Ann Rutledge (and her final resting place), whether or not Lincoln was baptized, the "gay Lincoln" myth, and the story that Lincoln supposedly wrote the Gettysburg Address on a scrap of paper found on the train to Gettysburg, premier Lincoln scholar and researcher Edward Steers uses his skills to examine a number of topics."
Did Lincoln Own Slaves?: And Other Frequently Asked Questions about Abraham Lincoln (Vintage Civil War Library)
Did Lincoln Own Slaves?: And Other Frequently Asked Questions about Abraham Lincoln (Vintage Civil War Library)
"After a friend tried to tell me that Lincoln was a slaveowner years ago (a never-ending myth) I found this book, which does a great job of putting a lot of myths to rest.  Not that Lincoln detractors will be satisfied, but you can use this book to help you laugh at them."
Twenty Days, A Narrative in Text and Pictures of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Twenty Days, A Narrative in Text and Pictures of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
"A classic work using Lincoln photographs from the unrivaled collection of Frederick Hill Meserve, this book illustrates, in text and pictures, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the events of the following twenty days back home to his burial in Springfield, Illinois."