Walter Stahr accomplishes an uncommon feat. In his biography of Seward. he writes a balanced account of an accomplished but clearly polarizing figure, sharing with us how and why Seward made such a profound impact during his era, while bringing the man's strengths and weaknesses to life. In addition, Walter walks well the fine line between glossing over events and suffocating the reader with excessive detail. He keeps the narrative moving briskly, transitions well from topic to topic, weaves the people and the themes of Seward's life together coherently, and explicitly informs the reader when the historical record requires him (and us as readers) to resort to speculation rather than hard evidence for his assertion. "Seward" is substantial work which is both a satisfying and enjoyable read. Well done, Mr. Stahr.