By Ron Chernow. Presents a portrait of the Civil War general and eighteenth president, challenging the views of his critics while sharing insights into his prowess as a military leader, the honor with which he conducted his administration, and the rise and fall of his fortunes.

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The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War

Hour of PerilBy Daniel Stashower

“It’s history that reads like a race-against-the-clock thriller.” –Harlan Coben

Daniel Stashower, the two-time Edgar award-winning author of The Beautiful Cigar Girl, uncovers the riveting true story of the Baltimore Plot, an audacious conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln on the eve of the Civil War in The Hour of Peril.

In February of 1861, just days before he assumed the presidency, Abraham Lincoln faced a “clear and fully-matured” threat of assassination as he traveled by train from Springfield to Washington for his inauguration. Over a period of thirteen days the legendary detective Allan Pinkerton worked feverishly to detect and thwart the plot, assisted by a captivating young widow named Kate Warne, America’s first female private eye.

As Lincoln’s train rolled inexorably toward “the seat of danger,” Pinkerton struggled to unravel the ever-changing details of the murder plot, even as he contended with the intractability of Lincoln and his advisors, who refused to believe that the danger was real. With time running out Pinkerton took a desperate gamble, staking Lincoln’s life – and the future of the nation – on a “perilous feint” that seemed to offer the only chance that Lincoln would survive to become president. Shrouded in secrecy – and, later, mired in controversy – the story of the “Baltimore Plot” is one of the great untold tales of the Civil War era, and Stashower has crafted this spellbinding historical narrative with the pace and urgency of a race-against-the-clock thriller.

The Greatest Brigade

The Greatest Brigade coverThe Greatest Brigade: How the Irish Brigade Cleared the Way to Victory in the American Civil War

By Thomas J. Craughwell

“The Irish Brigade played an important role in many key clashes of the Civil War, including Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Petersburg. Craughwell (“Stealing Lincoln’s Body”) recounts both the larger picture of each engagement and its significance to the war as a whole and the particular role played by the Irish Brigade. He also intersperses personal stories that reflect the challenges faced by Irish Catholics in their new country, which was in many ways xenophobic and anti-Catholic. VERDICT: This engrossing book will appeal both to Civil War buffs and to those interested in the Irish American experience.” –Library Journal