Bibliography of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserving the Union and ending slavery. Before his election in 1860 as the first Republican president, Lincoln had been a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, a member of the United States House of Representatives, and twice an unsuccessful candidate for election to the U.S. Senate. As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States,[1][2] Lincoln won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was elected president later that year. His tenure in office was occupied primarily with the defeat of the secessionist Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. He introduced measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery, issuing his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoting the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. As the civil war was drawing to a close, Lincoln became the first American president to be assassinated; he had the largest funeral in the nation's history and his legacy became iconic for American nationalism and freedom.

In terms of primary sources containing Lincoln's letters and writings, scholars rely on The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy Basler, and others.[3] It only includes writings by Lincoln, and omits incoming correspondence. In the six decades since Basler completed his work, some new documents written by Lincoln have been discovered. Currently, a project is underway at the Papers of Abraham Lincoln to provide "a freely accessible comprehensive electronic edition of documents written by and to Abraham Lincoln".[4] The Papers of Abraham Lincoln completed Series I of their project The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln in 2000. They electronically launched The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln, Second Edition in 2009,[5] and published a selective print edition of this series.[6] At present they are engaged in locating, digitizing, and transcribing documents for Series II (non-legal, pre-presidential materials) and Series III (presidential materials).[7]

There have been 16,000 books published on Lincoln—125 on the assassination alone—more than any other American.[8][9] This listing is therefore highly selective and is based on the reviews in the scholarly journals, and recommended readings compiled by scholars.



Specialty topics

Historiography and memory

Lincoln in art and popular culture

Primary sources

Attacks on Lincoln


  1. Goodwin 2005, p. 91
  2. Holzer 2004, p. 232
  3. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln
  4. Papers of Abraham Lincoln
  5. Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln
  6. Stowell, ed. The Papers of Abraham Lincoln: Legal Documents and Cases
  7. Papers of Abraham Lincoln
  8. Steven Levingston, "Bill O'Reilly's 'Lincoln' book banned from Ford's Theatre because of 'mistakes'," '"Washington Post Nov. 12.2011
  9. "The Lincoln Compulsion", Time

External links

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