From the best-selling author of The Emperor of Ocean Park and New England White, comes a daring reimagining of one of the most tumultuous moments in our nation’s past.
Stephen L. Carter’s thrilling new novel takes as its starting point an alternate history: President Abraham Lincoln survives the assassination attempt at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. Two years later he is charged with overstepping his constitutional authority, both during and after the Civil War, and faces an impeachment trial....
Twenty-one-year-old Abigail Canner is a young black woman with a degree from Oberlin, a letter of employment from the law firm that has undertaken Lincoln’s defense, and the iron-strong conviction, learned from her late mother, that “whatever limitations society might place on ordinary negroes, they would never apply to her.” And so Abigail embarks on a life that defies the norms of every stratum of Washington society: working side by side with a white clerk, meeting the great and powerful of the nation - including the president himself. But when Lincoln’s lead counsel is found brutally murdered on the eve of the trial, Abigail is plunged into a treacherous web of intrigue and conspiracy reaching the highest levels of the divided government.
Here is a vividly imagined work of historical fiction that captures the emotional tenor of post-Civil War America, a brilliantly realized courtroom drama that explores the always contentious question of the nature of presidential authority, and a galvanizing story of political suspense.
©2012 Stephen L. Carter (P)2012 Random House Audio
Only a period fanatic would appreciate the story. It takes half the book to get to the trial and then side steps the trial for other sub plots.
The most interesting is the acting.
Writer, economist, stand-up comic
Brilliant historical insight. I appreciated how Carter wove the resl impreachment of Andrew Johnson into his non fiction
Phillip Roth's Plot Against America.
Suspense leading to the verdict which never came
One road splits of into two ultimately merging together again before the road ends. The outcome of Lincoln's legacy is unchanged but the events taken to get there brings this version of Carter's history into a parallel universe making this an extordinary story.
This story had so much potential; and we picked it for our book club. It was just disappointing. The whole and on the 3rd day Lincoln recovered from the assassination attempt with no injuries; to the black single woman as a lwayer 60 years before any female was admitted to the bar; and Lincoln only speaking in metaphors in every private conversation was a little too far fetched for me. BUT the whole issue of criminal offenses during martial law and the suspension of habeus corpus - is a GREAT conversation. The whole intent of the framers conversation took up most of our book club discussion.
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