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Books about Lincoln's Pre-Presidential Political Career

Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln

Author Douglas L. Wilson covers Lincoln's lesser-known early years, with a focus on the period 1831 to 1842, when Lincoln left his father's home and carved out his own life. Using vivid accounts of Lincoln's contemporaries, Wilson describes Lincoln's rocky rise from a rough flatboatman to an influential Illinois politician.

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  • Angle, Paul M., ed. Created Equal? The Complete Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958.

  • Ayers, Carol Dark. Lincoln in Kansas: Partnership for Freedom. Manhattan, KS: Sunflower University Press, 2001.

  • Baringer, William E. A House Dividing: Lincoln as President Elect. Springfield: The Abraham Lincoln Association, 1945.

  • Baringer, William E. Lincoln's Rise to Power. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1937.

  • Beveridge, Albert J. Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1858. 2 vols. Cambridge: The Riverside Press, 1928.

  • Boritt, Gabor, ed. The Lincoln Enigma. Oxford University Press, February 2001.

  • Davis, Rodney O. and Wilson, Douglas L., editors. The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The Lincoln Studies Center Edition. University of Illinois Press, 2008.

  • DeRose, Chris. Congressman Lincoln: The Making of America's Greatest President. Threshold Editions, 2013.

  • Dittenhoefer, Abram J. How We Elected Lincoln: Personal Recollections of Lincoln and Men of His Time. Kessinger Publishing, 2004 (reprint of 1916 edition).

  • Ecelbarger, Gary. The Great Comeback: How Abraham Lincoln Beat the Odds to Win the 1860 Republican Nomination. Thomas Dunne Books, 2008.

  • Egerton, Douglas R. Year of Meteors: Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, and the Election that Brought on the Civil War. 2010.

  • Emerson, Jason. Lincoln the Inventor. Southern Illinois University Press, 2009.

  • Fehrenbacher, Don E. Prelude to Greatness: Lincoln in the 1850's. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1962.

  • Fenster, Julie. The Case of Abraham Lincoln: A Story of Adultery, Murder, and The Making of a Great President. Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

  • Findley, Paul. A Lincoln: The Crucible of Congress. New York: Crown Publishers, 1979.

  • Foner, Eric. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. W.W. Norton & Co., 2010.

  • Freeman, Aileen S. Lincoln: The Northeastern Pennsylvania Connection. FOSI, Ltd., 2000.

  • Good, Timothy S. Lincoln for President. McFarland, 2009.

  • Good, Timothy S. The Lincoln-Douglas Debates and the Making of a President. McFarland and Co., 2007.

  • Guelzo, Allen. Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates that Defined America. Simon & Schuster, 2008.

  • Harris, William C. Lincoln's Rise to the Presidency. University Press of Kansas, 2007.

  • Heckman, Richard A. Lincoln vs. Douglas: The Great Debates Campaign. Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1967.

  • Holzer, Harold (editor). The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The First Complete, Unexpurgated Text. Harpercollins, 1993.

  • Holzer, Harold. Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860-1861. Simon & Schuster, 2008.

  • Jaffa, Harry V. Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. University of Chicago Press, 1982.

  • Jaffa, Harry V. Crisis of the House Divided: 50th Anniversary Edition. University of Chicago Press, 2013.

  • Krannawitter, Thomas L. Vindicating Lincoln: Defending the Policies of Our Greatest President. Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.

  • Lehrman, Lewis E. Lincoln at Peoria. Stackpole Books, 2008.

  • Luebke, Frederick C. Ethnic Voters and the Election of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 1971.

  • Miller, William Lee. Lincoln's Virtues: An Ethical Biography. Alfred A. Knopf, 2002.

  • Potter, David M. Lincoln and His Party in the Secession Crisis. Louisiana State University Press, 1995.

  • Riddle, Donald W. Congressman Abraham Lincoln. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1957.

  • Sandburg, Carl. Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, 2 vols. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1926.

  • Sandburg, Carl. The Prairie Years and the War Years. One-volume edition; Harvest Books, 1989.

  • Searcher, Victor. Lincoln's Journey to Greatness. Philadelphia and Toronoto: The John C. Winston Company, 1960.

  • Simon, Paul. Lincoln's Preparation for Greatness: The Illinois Legislative Years. University of Illinois Press reprint edition, 1990.

  • Sparks, Edwin E., ed. The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858. Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1908.

  • Villard, Henry, ed. by Harold G. and Osward Garrison Villard. Lincoln on the Eve of '61. New York, 1941.

  • Wilson, Douglas L. Lincoln Before Washington: New Perspectives on the Illinois Years. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997.

  • Winkle, Kenneth J. The Young Eagle: The Rise of Abraham Lincoln. Taylor Trade Publishing, 2001.

  • Zarefsky, David. Lincoln, Douglas, and Slavery: In the Crucible of Public Debate. University of Chicago Press, 1993.

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