The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln (2012)

by Stephen L. Carter

Lawyer and historical novelist Stephen L. Carter helps us to think about the legal issues surrounding Abraham Lincolnís management of the Civil War by imagining Lincoln had lived and been impeached by his own side. 

Republican Radicals are taking Lincoln to task for suspending habeas corpus, censoring newspapers, failing to protect free Blacks, and usurping Congressís authority, among other abuses. 

As if thatís not enough, Carter also drops in a murder mystery. One of the partners of the law firm defending Lincoln is murdered alongside a prostitute outside a brothel. A young African-American woman hired by the partner as a clerk tries to unravel all the threads with the assistance of another clerk who falls in love with her.

Carter gives a sense that his imagined events might have happened had Lincoln lived. The Congressional characters are real and behave consistently with their reputations. He takes their words from their real-life speeches.

Donít fear if you love Lincoln; youíre not likely to have your ardor cooled. The Great Emancipator, presented here as a lonely widower because Mary has died, retains his storied folksiness and humanity.



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