Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Lincoln Conspirators and Lincoln, Life-Size

As promised, in this posting I will be reviewing two of the books I was able to purchase at the AHA conference in San Diego last month. The first is The Lincoln Assassination Conspirators: Their Confinement and Execution, as Recorded in the Letterbook of John Frederick Hartranft edited by Edward Steers, Jr. and Harold Holzer. This book is a must have for anyone who is interested in the Lincoln assassination. Hartranft had the unenviable job of overseeing the Lincoln conspirators from their confinement, trail, and execution at the Washington Arsenal in the spring of 1865. While at times dull and repetitive, Hartranft's letter book does shed light into the workings of a military prison and proves that the care of the Lincoln conspirators was not excessively cruel as has been asserted by some historians.

The second book, Lincoln, Life-Size by Philip B. Kunhardt III, Peter W. Kunhardt, and Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr. is a beautiful coffee table book featuring every documented photograph of Abraham Lincoln reproduced in its original size and in a life size format. The Kunhardt family are the leading experts in Lincoln photographs and in this latest work the family does not fail. Each photograph comes with the approximate date and location in which it was taken along with a quote from Lincoln or those who surrounded him from around the time the photograph was taken. This is truly a book that the reader can get lost in, each page we see the progression of Lincoln from frontier lawyer to war ravaged President.

I hope my faithful readers will forgive the brevity of this posting, I am back in grad school and the demands of my studies most top that of my pleasure reading!

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