The Gates of the Alamo
Author Stephen Harrigan returns to his historical fiction roots, reimagining Abraham Lincoln's early life, when he was a young lawyer and rising politician in Springfield, Illinois.
Told from the point of view of Lincoln's best friend, it starts during the Blackhawk War (in which Lincoln served) and ends in the mid-1840s, when Lincoln goes off to Washington after being elected to Congress, and his friend heads west with the Donner party.
The novel is about a crucially formative period in Lincoln's life, when he was ruled by an almost ungovernable ambition and beset by bouts of depression, sometimes ruthlessly trying to advance himself while tortured with self-doubt and questions of personal honor. It tracks his strange on-and-off relationship with Mary Todd, his sudden and puzzling marriage to her, the duel he almost fought with a political opponent, his pragmatic and sometimes contradictory stands on slavery, his desire to be a poet, and his true-to-life flirtation with suicide - all in all, a portrait of a young politician on the make, deeply principled but also deeply flawed.
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