Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case that Propelled Him to the Presidency by Dan Abrams & David Fisher is a mini-biography of the 16th President’s last big trial before running for high office. Mr. Abrams is ABC New chief legal affairs anchor and Mr. Fisher is a well known author.
- 320 pages
- Publisher: Hanover Square Press
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781335424693
I first noticed this book when author Dan Abrams hawked it on TV as part of a panel on one of the Sunday political shows I watch. The book immediately caught my attention since I really enjoy these min-biographies which delve in depth into a short, but meaningful time in the subject’s life.
Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case that Propelled Him to the Presidency by Dan Abrams & David Fisher is such a book, taking place at the end of the summer of 1859 when lawyer (and budding politician) Abraham Lincoln went to defend Peachy Quinn Harrison on his murder trial in Sangamon County, Illinois. Even though Mr. Lincoln didn’t know it at first, this was to be his last murder trial (he previously had more than 25 murder trials and more than 3,000 cases). This trial happened right after the famous debate Mr. Lincoln had with Senator Stephan Douglas, which captured the imagination of the American people and earned him a respected following.
The authors tell several stories throughout the book, Mr. Lincoln’s and Harrison are a given, but also that of Robert Roberts Hitt, a well-known transcriber of trials which has worked with Mr. Lincoln before, and one can say has created a standard at a time when standards were far and few in between. Mr. Hitt was a short hand expert and because very close with Mr. Lincoln over the years of him transcribing trials and debates.
The legal case the book presented was interesting on its own, but the insights into Mr. Lincoln’s lawyerly skills, as well as the insights into Mr. Hitt’s contribution and their relationships is an added bonus. I just don’t think that this trial was as monumental as the authors think it was, maybe if he would have lost. Alas, we’ll never know.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book as a gift.
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