President Abraham Lincoln is known as the Great Emancipator, the Savior of the Union, and an American martyr to the people who read about him. But that was not how his sons knew him. Presidential historian Alan Manning invites readers to see not the thoughtful, burdened president delivering the Gettysburg Address to a war-torn nation, but a man quietly reading bedtime stories to his sleepy-eyed sons; and not the resolute commander-in-chief seeking out winning generals and forming war policy, but a man wrestling with his own grown son’s desire to join the army and go off to war. A combination of history, biography, and family culture, this book follows Lincoln from his growing law practice in Springfield through the turbulent war years in the White House, highlighting the same challenges that many fathers face today: balancing a successful career with paternal responsibilities—a perspective largely ignored by previous Lincoln biographers, thus helping to complete the portrait of one of the most popular, significant, and complex figures in American history.
Alan Manning is an independent historian and teacher. He received a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, an M.A. in History from the University of West Florida, and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review. Manning practiced law for over 25 years at international and regional law firms before taking an early retirement in order to teach American history and to write. He currently teaches in the History Department at the University of West Florida and at Pensacola Catholic High and is a frequent speaker and lecturer on presidential history, a subject for which he has a particular passion. As he researched and wrote this book, Manning's experience of practicing law while raising four daughters gave him a unique insight into Lincoln’s life. He lives in Pensacola, Florida, with his wife and children.