Read-Alikes for ‘The Demon of Unrest’ by Erik Larson | LibraryReads

The Demon of Unrest by Erik Larson is the top holds title of the week. LibraryReads and Library Journal offer read-alikes for patrons waiting to read this buzziest book.

The Demon of Unrest by Erik Larson (Crown) is the top holds title of the week. LibraryReads and Library Journal offer read-alikes for patrons waiting to read this buzziest book.

Blockbuster author Larson (The Devil in the White City) offers a political history considering the five months between Lincoln’s election and the beginning of the U.S. Civil War. His deeply researched account is character-driven and wide-ranging even as it centers upon Lincoln, trying desperately to avert war.—LJ Reviews

And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle by Jon Meacham (Random; LJ starred review)

 With his latest work, Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer Meacham (the Rogers Chair in the American Presidency at Vanderbilt Univ.; His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of HopeThomas Jefferson: The Art of Power) thoroughly examines the moral universe of Abraham Lincoln. This fascinating biography shows that Lincoln was a man with vices as well as many virtues. Meacham’s writing is illuminating, and his sources help with that. For example, W.E.B Du Bois’s and Frederick Douglass’s mixed views on Lincoln heavily dominate the text. Why another book on Lincoln now? The author answers this question by giving readers a full understanding of the fractured state of the Union in mid-19th century America, contrasting it with the current divisive political situation in the United States of the 21st century. Lincoln’s views on emancipation and the Union evolved over time. The author examines that evolution and shows readers why this matters. A brilliant chapter, “Abe Was Hungry for Books,” gives much insight into Lincoln’s early family life, his hunger for an education, and his beginnings as a reader. VERDICT A scholarly book on the life, triumphs, and heartbreaks of Abraham Lincoln’s life, but general readers may enjoy it too. This is a title that will likely be a fruitful one for all levels of book discussion groups.—Amy Lewontin

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin (S. & S.; LJ starred review)

OrangeReviewStarGoodwin's biography of Lincoln's cabinet is a discerning diagnosis of the politics that led Lincoln to choose and manage a "team of rivals" through his self-confidence, pragmatism, broad vision, and unyielding convictions—and to use his diverse, competing cabinet to enforce policy.—Randall M. Miller

Our Ancient Faith: Lincoln, Democracy, and the American Experiment by Allen C. Guelzo (Knopf)

In Our Ancient Faith, three-time Lincoln Prize winner Guelzo probes President Abraham Lincoln’s convictions regarding democracy.—Barbara Hoffert

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