The bibliographical notes for each chapter are mostly limited to books dealing with Abraham Lincoln. The best overview of the politics of the 1850s is David M. Potter's The Impending Crisis, 1848–1861, edited and completed by Don E. Fehrenbacher (New York: Harper and Row, 1976). For the Civil War, James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1988), is a sound and thoughtful account. These works will refer the interested reader to important secondary works on a host of topics.
Untangling the events of Abraham Lincoln's early life is a monumental challenge. The major sources for the years before 1837 are the interviews and recollections assembled by William Herndon, his law partner, after Lincoln's death. This material is finally available in a well-edited modern edition witha thoroughindex: Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, eds., Herndon's Informants (Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1998). These interviews are the basis for William H. Herndon and Jesse W. Weik, Herndon's Life of Lincoln, ed. Paul M. Angle (Cleveland: World Publishing, 1942). There are also some important recollections of Lincoln's early acquaintances in Walter B. Stevens, A Reporter's Lincoln, ed. Michael Burlingame (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1998). The fullest study of Lincoln's years in Indiana is Louis Warren, Lincoln's Youth: Indiana Years (Indianapolis: Indiana State Historical Society, 1959). One of the most important books on Lincoln to appear in recent years is Douglas L. Wilson, Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998), which carefully examines his life in New Salem.
The sources for Lincoln's life improve after his move to Springfield, though the Herndon interviews and recollections of acquaintances remain the major source for his career outside politics. Thus Wilson and Davis, eds., Herndon's Informants, and Angle's edition of Herndon's Life of Lincoln remain essential. There are addi-