THE GATES OF THE ALAMO author Stephen Harrigan returns to his historical fiction roots, reimagining Abraham Lincoln's early life when he was a young lawyer and rising politician in Springfield, Illinois. Told from the point-of-view of Lincoln's best friend, it starts during the Blackhawk War (in which Lincoln served) and ends in the mid-1840's, when Lincoln goes off to Washington after being elected to Congress and his friend heads west with the Donner Party. The novel is about a crucially formative period in Lincoln's life, when he was ruled by an almost ungovernable ambition, beset by bouts of depression, sometimes ruthlessly trying to advance himself while tortured with self-doubt and questions of personal honor. It tracks his strange on-and-off relationship with Mary Todd, his sudden and puzzling marriage to her, the duel he almost fought with a political opponent, his pragmatic and sometimes contradictory stands on slavery, his desire to be a poet, and his true-to-life flirtation with suicide--all in all, a portrait of a young politician on the make, deeply principled but also deeply flawed.
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"Narrator George Guidall turns in a fabulous performance, bringing emotional depth and technical excellence to this story. Abraham Lincoln is now a cultural as well as political icon, as evidenced by films, TV programs, and this audiobook, which reimagines Lincoln's life from 1832 to 1840. The story is told from the point of view of Lincoln's fictional best friend, Cate Weatherby, who sees an ambitious, thoughtful, possibly depressed young man begin to form into what will later become a towering intellect and compassionate national leader. Guidall knows just where to pause and vary his voice to capture the moment and give us something to think about. He also seems to be invested in the book, bringing a fictional Lincoln vividly to life. R.I.G. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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