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Short Synopsis
A rising star among historians charts the fortunes of a family shattered by the Civil War—Mary Todd Lincoln's family—and their surprising impact on how Lincoln fought that war.

Full Synopsis
For all the talk of the Civil War "pitting brother against brother," until now there has never been a single book that traces the story of one family ravaged by that conflict. And no family could better illustrate the personal toll the war took than Lincoln's own. Mary Todd Lincoln was one of fourteen siblings who were split between the Confederacy and the Union. Three of her brothers fought, and two died, for the South. Several Todds—including Mary herself—bedeviled Lincoln's administration with their scandalous behavior. Award-winning historian Stephen Berry tells their family saga with the narrative intricacy and emotional intensity of a novelist. The Todds' struggles haunted the president and moved him to avoid tactics or rhetoric that would dehumanize or scapegoat the Confederates. Drawing on his own familial experience, Lincoln was inspired to articulate a humanistic, even charitable view of the enemy that seems surpassingly wise in our time, let alone his.

With brio and rigor, Berry fills a gap in Civil War history, showing how the war changed one family and how that family changed the course of the war. As they debate each other about the issues of the day and comfort each other in the wake of shared tragedy, the Todds become a singular microcosm and a metaphor for the country as a whole.

"Compelling.... Brings to vibrant life Lexington aristocrats never before studied in depth by Lincoln biographers...remarkable.... A riveting account." ---Kirkus

"This biography takes full advantage of Michael Prichard's narrative skills.... Prichard's fans will hear him at his best." ---AudioFile

"A fast-paced, sobering story, never better told." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"The well-regarded Prichard reads Berry's tale of the Todds with long, significant pauses and a stentorian rigor.... By stretching time out like taffy, Prichard manages to make it flow faster than it otherwise would." Publishers Weekly Audio Review
Publishers Weekly Review

House of Abraham

Lincoln and the Todds, a Family Divided by War

Author Stephen Berry

Narrated by Michael Prichard

Publication date Dec 3, 2007

Running time 11 hrs

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