House of Abraham: Lincoln and the Todds, a Family Divided by War

House of Abraham: Lincoln and the Todds, a Family Divided by War by Stephen Berry 0618420053 9780618420056
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A rising star among historians charts the fortunes of a family shattered by the Civil War -- Mary Todd Lincolns family -- and their surprising impact on how Lincoln fought that war. For all the talk of the Civil War pitting brother against brother, there has never before been a single book that traces the story of one family ravaged by that conflict. And no family could better illustrate the personal toll the war took than Lincolns own. Mary Todd Lincoln was one of fourteen siblings who were split between the Confederacy and the Union. Three of her brothers fought, and two died, for the South. Several Todds -- including Mary herself -- bedeviled Lincolns administration with their scandalous behavior. Award-winning historian Stephen Berry tells their family saga with the narrative intricacy and emotional intensity of a novelist. The Todds struggles haunted the president and moved him to avoid tactics or rhetoric that would dehumanize or scapegoat the Confederates. Drawing on his own familial experience, Lincoln was inspired to articulate a humanistic, even charitable view of the enemy that seems surpassingly wise in our time, let alone his. With brio and rigor, Berry fills a gap in Civil War history, showing how the war changed one family and how that family changed the course of the war. As they debate each other about the issues of the day, and comfort each other in the wake of shared tragedy, the Todds become a singular microcosm and metaphor for the country as a whole.

Author: Stephen Berry

Language: English

Edition: 1St Edition

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 288

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publication Date: 2007-11-05


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