Civil War Book Review: The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln

The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln
by Stephen L. Carter

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030727263X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307272638

The Impeachment Of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen CarterA good political thriller.

A young Black woman joins a Washington law firm as a clerk.  The firm is defending the impeached President of the United States.  The impeachment based on policy disputes and who controls the government.  A faction in Congress has determined to replace the President with a person who will accept their direction.    One of the firm’s partners is murdered in the company of a prostitute.  Earlier that day, the partner had withdrawn a large sum of money from his bank account, the money is missing.  The woman’s sister may be involved.  Working with a White male clerk, they are pulled deeper and deeper into…

This could be a good contemporary political thriller.  The author draws good characters and has a reasonable plot.  The story has a good pace and is very readable.  The less history the reader knows, the more enjoyable the book will be.

Good historical fiction needs to stay within the restrictions of the time.  The author needs to understand the historical characters and keep them within realistic activities.  The author is unable to do this and it destroyed the book for me.  Errors, both minor and major abound.

Lincoln and Sickles were not “life long friends”.  Lincoln rewarded an important war-democrat from New York for supporting the war.

In 1867, Paul Morphy traveled to Paris by war of Cuba.  He would not have been in DC during the winter.  His mind was starting to fail even if he still has several years ahead of him.

Impeaching Lincoln would not have been as easy as depicted.  Grant and Sherman would have stood with Lincoln against the radicals.  Longstreet, D. H. Hill, John Mosby and possibly Robert E. Lee could have helped stop impeachment in the South.  Thousands of Union veterans would have made the next election “difficult” for any House member voting to impeach him.  I agree that Lincoln and the Radicals would have had a bitter fight but do not agree the Radicals could have impeached him.

This is a good political thriller but it is NOT historical fiction.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *