Unlike most past U.S. Presidents, Abraham Lincoln is never really out of mind. But now–just three years after the 200th anniversary of his birth, and with Stephen Spielberg’s “Lincoln” opening to all-but-unprecedented rave reviews (see here, here, here and here)–the sixteenth President has rarely had a higher profile.
There is no shortage of reading material. While the number of books written about Lincoln has been disputed, one effort to assemble them all produced a three-story tower of 15,000 titles. Those who have an interest in the Lincoln presidency may begin with Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, the book by Doris Kearns Goodwin that inspired the Spielberg film. There are books focusing on Lincoln’s legal career, his marriage, even his childhood. And who could forget his imagined career as a vampire hunter?
In addition to Team of Rivals, there are a few classics that no student of Lincoln will want to miss, including the biography by David Herbert Donald, Garry Wills’ Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America and Eric Foner’s The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.
- The federal government’s Our Documents collection includes detailed information about Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and the Gettysburg Address
- This National Park Service provides pages linking to a larger collection of Lincoln speeches and the Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858
- Much more is made available from the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress