Mr. Lincoln's Wars: A Novel in Thirteen Stories

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Harper Collins, Jan 20, 2004 - Fiction - 320 pages

In this highly ambitious collection, Adam Braver explores Abraham Lincoln's inner life and personal turmoils -- while also reflecting on the indelible impact Lincoln had on the nation during the last year of his presidency. Braver brings the president to life, not just as the strong and resilient leader of history books but also as a grief-stricken father, heartbroken over the loss of his young son.

Across a rich canvas of truth and imagination, Mr. Lincoln's Wars reveals a president within the White House walls. We see Lincoln as he explores the meaning of loss through a chance encounter with the father of a slain soldier. And a good-hearted young Union soldier is quickly turned into a killer in the name of President Lincoln. Finally, there is the assassination and the autopsy, as seen through the eyes of John Wilkes Booth, Mary Lincoln, the assistant surgeon general, and one of Lincoln's closest friends.

Brilliant in its depiction of the country during the waning days of the war, this book is an insightful and moving exploration of the myth of celebrity and the passions it arouses. More than anything, Mr. Lincoln's Wars introduces a talented new writer whose storytelling ability knows no bounds.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - laytonwoman3rd - LibraryThing

[Mr. Lincoln's Wars] by Adam Braver I really enjoyed this novel in stories told from various perspectives, set at different times before, during and immediately after the Civil War. Braver is a fine ... Read full review

MR. LINCOLN'S WARS: A Novel in Thirteen Stories

User Review  - Kirkus

A "novel in thirteen stories" is really twelve fine tales and one novella, all partly interactive history and partly narrative, and all about our most-explored president.The Lincoln we get here is ... Read full review

Contents

The Undertakers Assistant
11
Zack Hargrove
25
The Idiot Brother
47
The Willie Grief
67
His Stepmothers Sister
91
A Letter to President Lincoln from a Good Girl
97
The Ward
109
On to the Next Field
131
Crybaby Jacks Theory
149
The Sad and Familiar Ballad of Captain
181
The Necropsy
195
A Rainy Night in Springfield Illinois1849
289
A Word on Researching Mr Lincolns Wars
305
Copyright

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Page 292 - If any personal description of me is thought desirable, it may be said I am in height six feet four inches, nearly ; lean in flesh, weighing, on an average, one hundred and eighty pounds ; dark complexion, with coarse black hair and gray eyes. No other marks or brands recollected.
Page 50 - It is with deep grief that I learn of the death of your kind and brave Father; and, especially, that it is affecting your young heart beyond what is common in such cases. In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it.
Page 14 - You cannot now realize that you will ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now.
Page 124 - ... government, where every man has a right to be equal with every other man. In this great struggle, this form of government and every form of human right is endangered if our enemies succeed. There is more involved in this contest than is realized by every% one. There is involved in this struggle, the question whether your children and my children shall enjoy the privileges we have enjoyed.
Page 28 - ... fellow man, without knowing it to be true. I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood; and the accidental truth of the assertion, does not justify or excuse him.
Page 134 - Passion has helped us, but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason — cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason — must furnish all the materials for our future support and defence.
Page 289 - And one thing you need to know about me is that I don't have the time or patience to deal with this shit.

About the author (2004)

Adam Braver is the author of Divine Sarah and Mr. Lincoln's Wars. His work has appeared in Daedalus, Cimarron Review, Post Road, and Pittsburgh Quarterly. He teaches creative writing at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.

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