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The Case of Abraham Lincoln: A Story of Adultery, Murder, and the Making of a Great President
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The Case of Abraham Lincoln: A Story of Adultery, Murder, and the Making of a Great President

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  92 ratings  ·  29 reviews
"The Case of Abraham Lincoln" takes the listener from the mystery of the George Anderson case, as investigated by the young lawyer and future president, to the enigma of Lincoln, as investigated by the author. Unabridged. 5 CDs.
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Published October 1st 2007 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published January 1st 2007)
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Karen Garrett
Nov 21, 2007 Karen Garrett rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like false advertising
Shelves: readin2007
I wish this book was about what it said it was. Touted as coverage of a murder case in which Abraham Lincoln acted as counsel, it was supposed to be about how his involvement in this trial set him on a path towards refocusing his political desires and drive towards the presidency. Instead, it was about his involvement with the burgeoning redefined Republican party (which was at first quite reluctant). The discussion of the murder case was pretty much abandoned for the entire middle section of th ...more
Jrobertus
The cover blurb suggests that Abe was involved in a sensational murder case, and indeed this is ultimately true. However, the book is really about his wide range of legal cases and his role in building the Republican party in Illinois. It was interesting in its own right, but clearly the author felt no one would read the history and so used the Anderson murder trial to suck in readers. (Anderson was a prosperous but boring blacksmith. His illiterate wife and his nephew had a thing, and they firs ...more
Patrick
This was a fabulous 5-star right up until the end which brings it down to a 4 1/2-star.

The title is misleading. The book chronicles Lincoln's life in the year 1856. He is well-known and really well-liked as a traveling lawyer, but he is not seen as wise and amazing yet. He works with other lawyers who seem to be heading to higher places politically than he is. He plays a vital part in starting the Republican party that year and starts to become famous after his powerful speech at the organizing
...more
Megan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenn M
I am always looking for something new in the arena of Abraham Lincoln history. Being a mystery and legal thriller fan, the title of this book made me have to read it. The book piqued my interest for a couple of reasons: 1) early history of Abraham Lincoln (the Illinois days), before he was elected President; and 2) crime detection and the legal system procedural process of the mid-19th century.

I thought Julie Fenster did a terrific job of blending together multiple authoritative sources to incl
...more
Andrew
Dan got me this one for Christmas.

"I immediately went into his office and found him in," Angell recalled of his meeting with Lincoln. "He was seated with his arms resting on the table and his long legs crossed. He was so different from any other person I had ever seen that for a moment I was dazed. The man looked like a cathedral.
I stated my busness, and feeling in my vest pocket, produced a ten dollar gold piece which I offered him as a retainer's fee. He was silent for a moment, and then sai
...more
Dan
Short and incredibly valuable. This 200-pager describes the year 1856 in Illinois, where a big murder case took place in Springfield and also Abraham Lincoln rose to prominence in the formation of the new Republican party. It was incredibly useful to understand just how involved in the legal scene Lincoln was, and also to see how his role as a party-man in the formation of the party helped give him the launching pad to the nomination 4 years later. Only slight negative is that the conclusion of ...more
Beth
I have to agree with other reviews about the false advertising. I was really hoping for a riveting story about a murder case involving Abraham Lincoln when he was a circuit lawyer in Illinois. The copious amount of information about Lincoln's involvement with the founding of the Republican party was interesting, but I kept wondering what it had to do with the Anderson case. Nothing really, as it turns iut. The murder case becomes incidental in the end (view spoiler) ...more
Laurie
Interesting glimpse of politics at the time of the formation of the Republican party. However, the author was using many newly discovered source documents (letters, diaries, etc.) and seems to have been compelled to use every possible detail, which made the book feel very random and unwieldy. It was a "choppy" read, without good flow to the narrative. Useful information about Abe's entrance into politics and his law career with the circuit court in Illinois...but not a pleasant reading experienc ...more
Mom
Focuses on the year 1856 when Lincoln was instrumental in setting up the Republican party (the Grand Old one, not what passes for it now.) Connects his personal, legal and political activities and the impact of each on his future election to the Presidency. The adultery and murder are in his legal domain: he became one of the defense lawyers. Good book. A little jumpy in the transitions from legal to political to personal. Very interesting in this year of Obama.
Nancy
I saw Julie Fenster on Book TV talking about this book, and I was immediately 'hooked'. She did a magnificent job of opening a window into Lincoln's everyday life as a lawyer in 1856, and setting the stage for the creation of the Republican Party. That glimpse of Lincoln was well worth the read, but the particular murder case that was woven into the biography was never solved. So it is a bit disappointing at the end to get no resolution to the murder.
Michele
I'm not sure this deserves 3 stars, but not sure it warrents 4 stars. Maybe 3 1/2. I think the title is misleading because it isn't so much about the court case mentioned, as it is about Lincoln's rise in political stature at the time the case occurs.

It was very interesting to hear about politics in the time this book takes place. It made me like Lincoln even more than I already do and learn more about him.
Maryellen
Jun 20, 2008 Maryellen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lincoln fans, Illinois people, anyone interested in political party history.
New stuff on Lincoln. I admit I can read anything on Lincoln but the addition of the murder of Charles Anderson and Lincoln's involvement in the case made this an interesting read. The book covered Lincoln's involvement with the formation of the Republican party and his expertise in the law. The man was just amazing. He had such a brilliant mind.
Also lots of interesting stuff about Springfield, IL.
Lynne
Finished it. I felt that it was a good snapshot in time of the life of Abe Lincoln in the years leading up to his time as President. Some little known stories about other people who needed legal help (including a nephew who was a thief, and Abe got him OFF!) and how he was increasing becoming popular on his way to the White House.
Bill
This book talks about how Lincoln helped form a new political party from the wreckage of the Whigs and "anti-Nebraskans" at the same time he was one of the busiest lawyers in central Illinois. Good insight into the development of a man from being well-known only in his judicial circuit to our 16th president.
RachelAnne
Jan 02, 2008 RachelAnne rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lincoln admirers
Shelves: historical, memoirs
Well researched, but doesn't live up to the sensational subtitle. A rather slow book that won't appeal to those who lack the patience to pore over the details of mid-ninteenth century legal practice and the formation of the Republican National Party.
Aimee


The title is a little misleading because he really didn't get involved in the case until the very end and then he rocked it!!! I learned so much about him....he was brilliant in so many ways..ABSOLUTELY loved this book!!!
Jenny
As a member of the legal profession, I'm glad to know that our greatest president was also a great lawyer. This book provides new insights into Lincoln's character, and the practice of law in the 1850s. A quick and interesting read.
Don
This is a pretty decent story of a murder and the ensuing trial. However, Abe didn't really have a lot to do with it. The value here is the detail of Lincoln's Springfield, but not a whole lot of insight into the man himself
Shelby Shoop
Full of wonderful details of social and political history, especially what it was like to be a lawyer and follow the circuit. Reveals the progress of Lincoln's ability to capture an audience with his speeches.
Carol Ann
The court case is sprinkled throughout the book, it is not a whodunit. The book describes the birth of the Republican Party in 1856. Lincoln later became the first Republican President.
Rosemary
If you like American history, this book will provide background on Lincoln and the times before he was president and how the US was struggling with the slavery issue on a state basis.
Pisceswonder77
I thought this would be long and in lawyers terms. Boy was I wrong . Ms. Fenster did a great job to put it into lazy mans terms. Never Never judge this book by its cover.
Yankey
Nice nonfiction. I liked the episode in Lincolns life this book focused on, one not well know in the history books and full of insight into the development of America.
Mary
I learned a lot about Abraham Lincoln's career as an attorney and what led up to his nomination for president.
Debbie
I listened to this on audio and I couldn't finish it. Altho' now I know why it's called the "circuit" court...
Marcy
This book really got me started on enjoying reading about American history. So glad I read it!
NC
Very well researched. A little slow, but I got into it as it went along.
Rob Harris
I liked this one a lot.
Katherine
Katherine marked it as to-read
Jun 02, 2015
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