Lincoln's Boys

Lincoln’s Boys

John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln’s Image

Format
Paperback
Price
$17.00
 
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780143126034
  • 400  Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult

Overview

An intimate look into Lincoln’s White House and the aftermath of his death, via the lives of his two closest aides

In this timely look into Abraham Lincoln’s White House, and the aftermath of his death, noted historian and political advisor Joshua Zeitz presents a fresh perspective on the sixteenth U.S. president—as seen through the eyes of Lincoln’s two closest aides and confidants, John Hay and John Nicolay. Lincoln’s official secretaries, Hay and Nicolay enjoyed more access, witnessed more history, and knew Lincoln better than anyone outside of the president’s immediate family. They were the gatekeepers of Lincoln’s legacy. Drawing on letters, diaries, and memoirs, Lincoln’s Boys is part political drama and part coming-of-age tale—a fascinating story of friendship, politics, war, and the contest over history and remembrance.
Lincoln's Boys

Lincoln’s Boys

Joshua Zeitz

Praise

“An excellent addition to Civil War collections.”–Booklist

A century before Harry Hopkins, Clark Clifford, or Ted Sorensen, John Hay and John Nicolay performed the duties of Presidential aide, advisor, political operative, and confidante. Even the great Abraham Lincoln needed support, and Joshua Zeitz captures perfectly the intimate, interior world of the White House.”
– David Plouffe, former  White House Senior Advisor

“What a wonderful, welcome book.  Zeitz has pulled off a difficult task — revealing how the myth of Lincoln came to be without distorting the true greatness of our extraordinary 16th President.”
– Ken Burns (filmmaker)

“Joshua Zeitz’s delightful study of John Hay and John Nicolay interweaves intimate biography, political drama, and the shaping of historical memory to produce an arresting and original narrative. Above all, it reminds us that, thanks to Lincoln’s secretaries, the moral dimensions of the emancipationist Civil War could not be bleached from the historical record by an increasingly fashionable understanding of the struggle as a romantic ‘brothers’ conflict’.”
–Richard Carwardine, author of Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power

“Abraham Lincoln was blessed with truly first-rate biographers in John Nicolay and John Hay, so it is ‘altogether fitting and proper’ that Nicolay and Hay have now attracted a terrific chronicler of their own life and times in Joshua Zeitz.  This fine book traces the extraordinary evolution of Lincoln’s two private secretaries from clerks into tireless historians and rabid keepers of the flame. Historians have long remembered their roles as canny observers of the White House during the Civil War, but this study adds much fascinating new material about their peerless role in crafting and preserving the Lincoln image.”
—Harold Holzer, author of  The Civil War in 50 Objects

“Lincoln’s Boys puts flesh and bones on the story of the two young men at the center of Abraham Lincoln’s world — and by extension, at the center of everything.  Beautifully researched and written, it restores to their full stature two figures who may have been young, but left a deep mark upon history.  Highly recommended.”
– Ted Widmer, former presidential speechwriter and author of Young America: The Flowering of Democracy in New York City

Extras

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