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


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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