4 great political books you've never heard of

Historians weigh in on the best books about elections that make 2012 look tame.

2. 'Washington in Lincoln's Time,' by Noah Brooks

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This memoir by a pre-eminent journalist is written with such style, liveliness, and insight  – in addition to enviable access – that the reader feels like an eavesdropper in the private quarters of the White House, vicariously present in the streets of wartime Washington. This riveting book has a marvelous anecdote about Lincoln’s unpretentiousness. One morning Brooks greeted the president, who stood by the front gate looking anxiously down the street. “Good morning,” said Lincoln. “I am looking for a newsboy. When you get to that corner I wish you would start one up this way.”

– Anthony Pitch, "'They Have Killed Papa Dead!': The Road to Ford’s Theatre, Abraham Lincoln’s Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance."

(Read my review of Pitch's book here.)

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