Not secretaries, but confidants

Lincoln’s right-hand men

Created date

October 27th, 2009

Writers have produced arguably more books about Abraham Lincoln in the last 140 years than any other president in American history. Yet for all of their depth and detail, many of these works manage only to perpetuate a mythology in which readers find a figure chiseled from marble and devoid of the human elements that made him great. [caption id="attachment_6398" align="alignright" width="203" caption="(Courtesy of"] Nevertheless, the rich, descriptive prose that comprises the book s chief virtue ironically call attention to its main weakness. Save for a superb cover photo showing Lincoln flanked by Nicolay and Hay, the book lacks illustrations. Perhaps most mystifying about this absence is the fact that there is no shortage of photos available. Between 1861 and 1865 alone, Lincoln sat for numerous photo portraits, including at least two in his office on the second floor of the White House, where much of this book takes place. Perhaps the paperback edition will provide the photos that Epstein s readers expect and that this story deserves.