Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) – along with Washington and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, one of the most famous Presidents of the United States – embodies the American frontier and self-made man myths, as he moved forward from the forests of the West to the Capitol, from being a farmer to serving as President. Elected in 1860, Lincoln faced the challenge of managing the American nation weighed down by the secession of pro-slavery states and the ensuing, bloody civil war. He thus ended up strengthening the federal government, modernizing the economy and emancipating 4 million slaves in the South. But he also paid for his successes with his life when he was assassinated just a few days after the end of the war. The book offers an involving portrait of a complicated man – an almost unfathomable individual, as well as a chronic depressive – and his relationship with the violent, lively and contradictory history of an emerging country.
Tiziano Bonazzi is professor emeritus at the University of Bologna, where he used to teach North American History and Institutions.