Impeach Lincoln!

The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln (Knopf) by Yale law professor Stephen L. Carter could have offered an interesting account of the political troubles that might have faced Abraham Lincoln had he survived assassination. Instead, he has produced a novel burdened by unbelievable characters and a definitively Dan Brown feel.

The protagonist, a young African-American law clerk working on Lincoln’s defense team, Abigail Canner, is liked and respected for virtues not readily apparent in the novel’s own text. Lincoln himself appears sporadically, and isn’t very interesting when he does. The impeachment trial itself is frustratingly dull, with fictional intrigue cluttering what could have been a fascinating constitutional discussion.

Despite its flaws, Carter’s novel does a good job of exploring Reconstruction-era tensions and addressing some historical misconceptions. States’ rights fans and Constitution buffs will be more willing than most to endure Carter’s dull conspiratorial plot for a few historical and legal gems. —Matthew Feeney 

Find this and hundreds of other interesting books at the Reason Shop, powered by Amazon.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement