Looking for Lincoln
Looking for Lincoln
The Making of an American Icon
Knopf, Hardcover, 9780307267139, 512pp.
Publication Date: November 18, 2008
In honor of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, an extensively researched, lavishly illustrated consideration of the myths, memories, and questions that gathered around our most beloved—and our most enigmatic—president in the years between his assassination and the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922. A sequel to the enormously successful Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography, Looking for Lincoln picks up where the previous book left off, examining how our sixteenth president’s legend came into being.
Availing themselves of a vast collection of both published and never-before-seen materials, the authors—the fourth and fifth generations of a family of Lincoln scholars—bring into focus the posthumous portrait of Lincoln that took hold in the American imagination, becoming synonymous with the nation’s very understanding of itself. Told through the voices of those who knew the man—Northerners and Southerners, blacks and whites, neighbors and family members, adversaries and colleagues—and through stories carefully selected from long-forgotten newspapers, magazines, and family scrapbooks, Looking for Lincoln charts the dramatic epilogue to Lincoln’s extraordinary life when, in a process fraught with jealousy, greed, and the struggle for power, the scope of his historical significance was taking shape.
In vibrant and immediate detail, the authors chart the years when Americans struggled to understand their loss and rebuild their country. Here is a chronicle of the immediate aftermath of the assassination; the private memories of those closest to the slain president; the difficult period between 1876 and 1908, when a tired nation turned its back on the former slaves and betrayed Lincoln’s teachings; and the early years of the twentieth century when Lincoln’s popularity soared as African Americans fought to reclaim the ideals he espoused.
Looking for Lincoln will deeply enhance our understanding of the statesman and his legacy, at a moment when the timeless example of his leadership is more crucial than ever.
Philip B. Kunhardt III is a writer-producer with Kunhardt Productions. Peter W. Kunhardt is executive producer of Kunhardt Productions. Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., is assistant director of development at the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation. Along with their father, the late Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Philip and Peter are coauthors of Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography. Looking for Lincoln will be the companion volume to a PBS special of the same name to be aired in the winter of 2009. The Kunhardts are based in Chappaqua, New York.
"Enough to ignite a lifelong interest in the era that reveals the most about our history."
–William Safire, New York Times Book Review
“Powerfully illustrated . . . To leaf through its pages is to walk through the life of the nation after that night in Ford’s Theater in 1865, watching as a man became a legend . . . To remember Lincoln, the Kunhardts demonstrate, is to remember ourselves.”
–Jon Meacham, The Los Angeles Times
“The Kunhardt trio offers up yet another impeccably designed and meticulously researched package, full of never-seen-before photographs and personal anecdotes that impart a fascinating and unbiased portrait of the heroic statesman. A timely read!”
–Alexis Burling, The Washington Post
“Fascinating . . . Describes how Americans became obsessed by Lincoln from his death in 1865 to the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922 . . . The Kunhardt family not only recount this story, but inhabit it.”
–Ted Widmer, The New York Observer
“Exceptional . . . A fitting tribute to our 16th president . . . This is a work that is certain to enhance our understanding of the man and his legacy.”
–Larry Cox, Tucson Citizen
“If you want one book to read on Lincoln during his Bicentennial, this should be your top choice.”–Greg Lennes, Las Cruces Sun-News
“By thumbing through this lavishly illustrated and well-organized book, we . . . bear witness to the generations that shaped Lincoln’s legacy . . . The photo gallery of all known Lincoln portraits is not to be missed.”
–Alfredo Sosa, Christian Science Monitor
“An amazing exploration of one of our most photographed and beloved presidents.”
–New Orleans Times-Picayune
“A museum within covers.”
“If Abraham Lincoln is one of our most fascinating presidents, the Kunhardt family is among our foremost Lincoln historians.”
“An essential volume . . . Every page here has images and words worth thinking about . . . An important and fascinating examination of Lincoln’s legacy as accepted and as forgotten.”
–Rob Hardy, The Commercial Dispatch
“A visual and literary feast . . . Beautifully illustrated . . . Loaded with rarities: never before seen letters . . . and first-hand reminiscences from numerous Lincoln intimates, all of them rich with telling detail about the man.”
–Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Lavishly illustrated with haunting, amusing and powerful images, this is the ultimate hardcover keepsake for Lincoln’s bicentennial.”
–Terry Golway, Newark Star-Ledger
“Fascinating . . . An engrossing invitation to scrutinize its every page and image, the Kunhardts’ work is sure to be one of the most popular books in the bicentennial effusion of Lincoln volumes.”
“Will surprise even the most knowledgeable Lincoln fans . . . [a] treasure trove.”--Guy Powers, Detroit Free Press
“You can really lose yourself in the pictures.”–Joe Mysak, Bloomberg
“The Kunhardt family has done it again with their latest tour de force--Looking for Lincoln. For five generations, the Kunhardts have been immersed in the study, writing, and collecting of Lincoln and Civil War era photographs and prints. While this book is chock full of iconography, it is not just a picture book--but a superlative narrative in text and illustrations that gives us a first-rate study of Abraham Lincoln in his bicentennial year.”
--Frank J. Williams, Founding Chair of The Lincoln Forum and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island