adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $28.34

Buy for $28.34

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Lincoln Forum Book Prize

“A Lincoln classic...superb.” ­(The Washington Post

“A book for our time.” (Doris Kearns Goodwin) 

Lincoln on the Verge tells the dramatic story of America’s greatest president discovering his own strength to save the Republic. As a divided nation plunges into the deepest crisis in its history, Abraham Lincoln boards a train for Washington and his inauguration - an inauguration Southerners have vowed to prevent. Lincoln on the Verge charts these pivotal 13 days of travel, as Lincoln discovers his power, speaks directly to the public, and sees his country up close. Drawing on new research, this riveting account reveals the president-elect as a work in progress, showing him on the verge of greatness, as he foils an assassination attempt, forges an unbreakable bond with the American people, and overcomes formidable obstacles in order to take his oath of office. 

©2020 Ted Widmer (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Audio

More from the same

What listeners say about Lincoln on the Verge

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    319
  • 4 Stars
    55
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    274
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    285
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A perfect listen for our divided times.

It is said that outside of Jesus Christ and Napoleon, no one in western history has been written more about than that of Abraham Lincoln.  After thousands of books on the man and his life, what more can be said?  What new angles can be examined? Ted Widmer vividly focuses on just thirteen perilous days (February 11-23, 1861) in the life of Lincoln in “Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington”. With the nation on the verge of collapse into at the time a yet to be named civil conflict, Widmer follows president-elect Lincoln’s thirteen-day, 1,900-mile train voyage from Springfield, Illinois to Washington D.C. for his inauguration with great suspense and high drama.

The journey begins with an impromptu farewell address, delivered from the rear platform of the passenger car at the Springfield train station.  Widmer vividly details the weight upon the president-elect’s shoulders and the courage required for the immense task at hand.  With each stop along the way, each carefully crafted speech given, each handshake received, Lincoln is keenly aware of the symbolism of holding the democracy together as the Union begins to dissolve. Through it all Lincoln displays his trademark humor and storytelling with vacillating moments of immense melancholy.  As the president-elect stops in each northern city greeted by large and friendly crowds, Widmer ominously details the southern states beginning their succession from the Union as Jefferson Davis builds his new government as the President of the newfound Confederacy.  With a probable plot of assassination in Baltimore and a bomb scare in Cincinnati, the stakes and suspense are high.

As the journey to Washington plods along Widmer offers a unique perspective of the significance of each stop’s geography.  At times this background can feel like filler, but it provides important historical context with emphasis on the vast differences between the booming economies and population growth of the North versus the unhurried and disconnected South. At each stop, we’re introduced to future presidents or historical figures who were either in attendance to see Lincoln or who could have very well been in the audience such as: Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Rutherford B. Hayes in Cincinnati, James Garfield in Columbus, Frederick Douglas in Rochester, Rockefeller in Cleveland, Carnegie in Pittsburgh, Grover Cleveland in Buffalo, Chester Arthur and even John Wilkes Booth in Albany in town for a performance.

It’s hard not to read this book in 2020 and not draw some parallels of a tremendously divided country between 1861 and now.  While not quite as threatening today as it was then, this stinging lash of prevailing worldviews continues to haunt the country.  Nevertheless, Lincoln on the Verge is one of my favorite reads of 2020 and should offer great satisfaction to not only Lincoln buffs, but general history lovers alike.

87 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

I expected this book to be a gripping tale of a journey. However it is the backstory, the people he met along the way, and the unfolding of history took place on this journey that are the real strength in the story which were unexpected at the start.As a Civil War buff this is one of the best nonfiction books I have read in recent memory.

47 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn’t put it down

It’s like no other story! There are thousands of Lincoln books but this one describes the 13 day chaotic journey to his inauguration. You feel like you you are riding the train. He also tells more than just Lincoln history. Excellent

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

The book was insightful, relating a piece of history we should always remember and pass on.
But the reading was jerky and difficult to listen to. I would appreciate a smoother read.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another Lincoln Book

If you like books about Lincoln and books about railroads, this is a winner. Follow Lincoln on a train from Illinois to Washington DC. There were throngs of people in small and large towns. And there was a plot to kill him before he could be inaugurated.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent, rich narrative

Widener writes in the tradition of David McCullough providing a rich history and a compelling narrative full of connections to the character of the American experiment.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding

Historically humbling and fascinating And at the end reads like the thriller it was in real life! Do yourself a favor and read/listen to this book

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Lincoln info

I am pretty sure that you will find a lot of interesting information about Abraham Lincoln that you have not seen or heard before. I found it very interesting to see how significant people interacted with Lincoln in someway. The narration is excellent.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent listen!

Fascinating recount of Lincoln’s assumption of the presidency! Great detail and depth and proof again that the past is indeed prologue!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A peek at early Lincoln history

This was a very interesting listen. It was a little bumpy here and there with the intertwined side stories and insights, but they were generally agreeable and interesting. I learned some new lore about Mr. Lincoln and some of his important helpers along the way.

7 people found this helpful