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The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln
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The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  1,673 ratings  ·  350 reviews
From the best-selling author of The Emperor of Ocean Park and New England White, a daring reimagining of one of the most tumultuous moments in our nation’s past

Stephen L. Carter’s thrilling new novel takes as its starting point an alternate history: President Abraham Lincoln survives the assassination attempt at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. Two years later he is cha
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Audio CD, 18 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by Random House Audio
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switterbug (Betsey)
What if the president survived the assassination attempt, only to face an impeachment trial two years later? That's the premise of this stout, absorbing tale. But Carter, with an almost mesmerizing touch, weaves more than a "what if" story here. What most engaged me is the way that Carter liberated himself from any stilted, biased or passive political ranting of his own. Instead of telegraphing his views into the characters, he allowed history to inform us, while never forgetting to hook us with ...more
Tamora Pierce
I am a bear for interesting alternate history, and the American Civil War period seems to generate some of the best. This has a truly mind-bending premise: Lincoln survives his attempted assassination, to be brought up on impeachment charges two years later for his suspension of habeas corpus during the war and three other charges. The chief motive driving his main foes is that his "malice toward none and charity toward all" policy is a kind of treason in its kinder treatment of the South than t ...more
Monique
Well I was hyped to read this book..so hyped I ordered it from another library because hey I have read all of Carter's books: The Emperor of Ocean Park, Jericho Falls, Palace Council and now this I believe and always find his writing intelligent, alittle verbose and wordy but extremely clean and intriguing..And the premise for this book drew me in like a moth to a flame especially after seeing the movie Lincoln starring the amazing Daniel Day Lewis and the surprising standout supporting castmate ...more
Jaylia3
What might have happened if Abraham Lincoln had survived Booth’s assassination attempt? Impeachment? That’s what novelist and historian Stephen L. Carter imagines in this riveting alternate history. Abigail Canner, a young black woman recently graduated from Oberlin College, is working for the law firm defending Lincoln from accusations that he overstepped his constitutional authority during the war. Interestingly, these charges are brought by grandstanding Radical Republican members of his own ...more
TL
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Bart Breen
Top Historical Fiction

Stephen L. Carter has done a remarkable job of bringing to life a piece of historical fiction creating a scenario of what could have happened had Lincoln survived his assassination attempt, Johnson's assassination attempt been successful and the impeachment faced later by Johnson in real life been brought to bear upon Lincoln himself. Add to this a narrative plot that introduces characters both real and imagined along with a murder mystery and you have all the ingredients n
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Scott Rhee
Abraham Lincoln is chic right now. I'm not sure why, but everybody and their uncle has felt the need to put in their two cents' worth to the growing number of Lincoln books currently on the bookshelves and bestseller lists. Most notably (in the non-fiction entry) are Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals", Bill O'Reilly's "Killing Lincoln", and James L. Swanson's "Manhunt". In the fiction arena, Lincoln has battled vampires in Seth Grahame-Smith's "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" and, now, in ...more
Jill
The premise of Stephen L. Carter’s new book, The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln is so audacious – so fascinating – that it virtually begs to be read.

In this reimaging of the Lincoln assassination, the bullet’s trajectory changes by just a fraction of an inch and Lincoln survives. After the country collectively exhales, the “fun” begins. The radical part of his own party presses for impeachment because he has chosen to not punish the south sufficiently in an effort to reunite the country. He is c
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Mary
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Matt
Carter is a masterful writer. I could end the review right there and I would have included all any reader needs to know about this author (and potentially about this book) and would not fall short. That said, perhaps something a little more concrete is needed for those who have an interest in reading this book, or anything penned by Stephen L. Carter. I have said it of other books by Carter and I will repeat it again here, Carter’s books can be quite dense and thick, but, if you are able to get ...more
Mary Frances
I truly enjoyed this book despite its flaws. he characters really didn't seem like 19th century characters- they give lip service to the societal strictures of the day but then those get thrown to the wind very quickly. I also could tell this book was written by a man- it lacked a certain richness of description and emotion that might have come more easily to a woman's pen. One thing that bugged me is that the heroine's beauty is a really important factor that affects how she is received, but Ca ...more
Mark
Stephen L. Carter's latest novel is an alternate history thriller that posits Lincoln surviving Booth's assassination attempt, only to face impeachment two years later at the hands of the Radicals of his own party. With the Senate moving towards a trial, a young African American woman, Abigail Canner, arrives in Washington to serve as a clerk for the law firm preparing to defend the president. Soon she finds herself tackling a series of mysteries all tied to the effort to bring down Lincoln. The ...more
Elaine


This is a story about what might have happened had Abraham Lincoln survived the assassination attempt of John Wilkes Booth. What an interesting concept! Abraham Lincoln is not the hero that his world and ours look up to, but instead he is a President with many flaws. (I personally prefer to think of him as a hero.)

Although the focus of this novel is on Lincoln and his Impeachment trial, I found that I was more interested in the storyline that revolved around Abigail Canner. Abigail is a young b
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Catherine Siemann
I plan to add a more considered review, but I will start with this:

An alternate history that is not science fiction, but a legal thriller. By a law professor who is also an accomplished novelist. With an African-American female lead who wants to be a lawyer, shortly after the Civil War, but is credible because of her background (family prosperous and free for generations; Oberlin College education) -- you had me when you mentioned Myra Bradwell!

Abigail is smart and beautiful and ahead of her ti
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Randy Daugherty
Ford's Theater April 14th , 1865,President Lincoln was shot in an assassination attempt. Two years later having survived the attempt on his life, he is facing impeachment, charged with overstepping his constitutional authority.

It is into this battle enters Abagail Canner, a young black woman with a degree from a famed college and a desire to study law. She wishes to study law and become the first woman and one of a hand full of blacks allowed to practice law.She meets a young law clerk, Johnatha
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Rebecca
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JBradford
I am more than tempted to give this novel a 5-star rating except that I did not care for the ending. I had never read any of Stephen Carter’s novels, but I will be looking for them, to see if the others are this good.

I have a fascination for alternative histories, but also a fear that I will learn the “wrong” history and never get things straight in my mind, but details Carter supplies at the end of the book, as well as some online research, suggests that most of the details are so trivial as to
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Everyday eBook
Aug 02, 2012 Everyday eBook rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Everyday by: Joe Muscolino
After reading Stephen L. Carter's novel The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln, you'll be thankful President Lincoln was assassinated. Yes, you heard that right. Abraham Lincoln was a hero and the brightest beacon of goodness the world could offer. But that's precisely the point. His assassination helped enshrine his greatest qualities. He became a martyr of a noble cause, a symbol of freedom so large it swallowed all the likely flaws and bad behaviors of the President whole.

Lincoln was human, after
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Bill Hall
Abraham Lincoln is, with the possible exception of George Washington, the closest the United States has come to producing a secular saint. His martyrdom has made it hard for many to understand how reviled and persecuted he was during his presidency. Both of these dimensions of Lincoln find echoes in Stephen Carter’s masterful new novel, “The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln.” In Carter’s what-if story, it is Vice President Andrew Johnson who is killed on April 14, 1865, while Lincoln survives John ...more
Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime)
I enjoy historical fiction, and I enjoy alternate-history even more, and this one was done very well. The premise is simple: suppose Lincoln did not die in Booth's assassination attempt? Would those who impeached Andrew Johnson, his successor, have impeached Lincoln instead?

It all made sense, and the whodunnit was well framed, but one thing kept nagging at me throughout. As I understand it from this book, on the impeachment of a President, his successor would be first the Vice-President, and se
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Gena
I've never read anything by Stephen L. Carter before but I enjoyed this one. He's basically asked "what if" Lincoln wasn't assassinated but lived on to face impeachment at the hands of congress two years later. Carter has taken fact and mixed in fiction to create a very interesting plot, filled with intricate details and fascinating personalities. It take a bit to get into the book, the beginning is dry and the legal aspects are fairly uninteresting until you know more facts. My one complaint ab ...more
Cbancroft83
I had never read a book by Stephen L. Carter before this one, which I picked up at the library because the title intrigued me. Man, am I ever glad I did pick it up, I really enjoyed this historical fiction! Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres because the best of them so cleverly mix actual history with great fictional characters and events to make a great thriller that includes enough true history to satisfy the historian in my soul. This novel let's us imagine that Lincoln survived ...more
John
In Stephen L. Carter's reimagining of history, Abraham Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth and critically injured. But the president does not die. He miraculously recovers and resumes his work with little ill effect. However, his vice president, Andrew Johnson, is assassinated, and his secretary of state, William Seward, survives serious injuries but never re-emerges from his mansion. Separately, Mrs. Lincoln drowns.
Having dispatched with all those details, Carter moves quickly to early spring
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Joseph
This book could have been interesting. It could have painted a picture of the subtle and drastic ways in which the world might have changed had Lincoln survived Ford's Theater. It doesn't, choosing instead to focus on an impeachment trial that doesn't really say much about Lincoln's impact on the world other than to point out that the government would still be splintered by petty factionalism. The biggest differences seem to be nothing more than a matter of narrative choice, rather than conseque ...more
Heather
President Abraham Lincoln survives the assassination attempt at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. Two years later he is charged with overstepping his constitutional authority, both during and after the Civil War, and faces an impeachment trial . . .

The book looks at what life might have been like, political landscape and all, had Lincoln survived. It paints a picture of the end of the civil war, and the outrage of Lincoln's opponents. He endures a lengthy impeachment trial, which I found quite i
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Sarah
It's always a mark of an incredible audiobook, when I sit in my driveway unwilling to go inside until I finish the final disk. What would have happened if Abraham Lincoln had survived the assassination attempt? How would reconstruction and the subsequent politics played out? In addition to these intriguing questions, Carter brings in fascinating characters from disparate ends of the social, economic and racial equation aligned in their desire to acquit the President from the charges of impeachme ...more
Marc Davis
I wanted to like this book. I love a good Lincoln/Civil War book... but this wasn't it.

Had I read the reviews in advance, I would have known this was a murder mystery that just happens to take place in the fictional world where Lincoln survives the Booth assassination. Based solely on the title and a brief plot summary, I thought this would be more historical fiction and less mystery/romance/whodunit.

I was hoping for a meaty historical novel like Gore Vidal's Lincoln, or William Safire's Freedo
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Roger
What a wonderful book! Stephen Carter has become one of my favorite authors. Although I still like hie Ocean Park novel better, this novel was excellent nonetheless. The characters were full and complete. The period was amazing, particularly for those of us who have ever spent time in DC. The history was a little weak, but his explanation at the end of the book was sufficient and understandable. The surprise ending was a little contrived, but it was a good way to wrap up the book, even though a ...more
Ray
Carter explores an alternate history in which Lincoln survives Booth's assassination attempt and is subjected to an impeachment trial by Congress.

Like all of Carter's other books, the theme is about the oppression of Black Americans by whites from the perspective of the Black elite. But written like a thriller.

I always enjoy a trip into Carter's mind but find all of the plot twists and reveals tedious. I'd like to see him try to bring his politics and philosophy to life in a novel that is more c
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Teresa Lukey
I was expecting to have more face time with Lincoln in this novel, unfortunately the double murder of an attorney and a black woman take center stage and the impeachment becomes more of a side show for most of the book. I think this idea behind this book was creative, but it just didn't hit the mark for me.

As far as the conspiracy theory and the mystery behind the murders, it did keep my attention as a mystery, but I found myself relatively detached from Lincoln's impeachment as a result. Someo
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Alternate History: The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln 1 23 Jan 10, 2013 09:22AM  
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Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale where he has taught since 1982. He has published seven critically acclaimed nonfiction books on topics ranging from affirmative action to religion and politics. His first novel, The Emperor of Ocean Park (2002), was an immediate national best seller. His latest novel is New England White (Knopf, 2007). A recipient of the NAA ...more
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