Regular price: $20.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

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

Buy Now for $20.99

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.

Add to Library for $0.00

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

Publisher's Summary

In the early hours of May 6, 1856, the steamboat Effie Afton barreled into a pillar of the Rock Island Bridge - the first railroad bridge ever to span the Mississippi River. Soon after, the newly constructed vessel, crowded with passengers and livestock, erupted into flames and sank in the river below, taking much of the bridge with it. As lawyer and Lincoln scholar Brian McGinty dramatically reveals in Lincoln's Greatest Case, no one was killed, but the question of who was at fault cried out for an answer.
Backed by powerful steamboat interests in St. Louis, the owners of the Effie Afton quickly pressed suit, hoping that a victory would not only prevent the construction of any future bridges from crossing the Mississippi but also thwart the burgeoning spread of railroads from Chicago. The fate of the long-dreamed-of transcontinental railroad lurked ominously in the background, for if rails could not cross the Mississippi by bridge, how could they span the continent all the way to the Pacific? The official title of the case was Hurd et al. v. The Railroad Bridge Company, but it could have been St. Louis v. Chicago, for the transportation future of the whole nation was at stake. Indeed, was it to be dominated by steamboats or by railroads? Conducted at almost the same time as the notorious Dred Scott case, this new trial riveted the nation’s attention.
Meanwhile, Abraham Lincoln, already well known as one of the best trial lawyers in Illinois, was summoned to Chicago to join a handful of crack legal practitioners in the defense of the bridge. While there, he successfully helped unite the disparate regions of the country with a truly transcontinental rail system and, in the process, added to the stellar reputation that vaulted him into the White House less than four years later.
©2015 Brian McGinty (P)2015 Recorded Books
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By E. Andersen on 05-23-15

Insight into Lincoln's law career

Although i read this book for bookclub and would not have chosen it, it was well worth the time. I closed the last page knowing much more about his contributions to our country's economic making us who we are today.

Read More Hide me

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews