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Lincoln's personal secretary John Nicolay once said "There are many pictures of Lincoln, [but] there is no portrait of him." That may be true, for the enigmatic man was hard to capture in a single image. But in all of the images-from the youngest that survive of Lincoln in his 30s, his "wild Republican hair" flying, to the oldest, when the strains of his extraordinary life show clearly-a full and often surprising portrait does emerge. Combined with his letters and the words from commentators of his time, a full and often surprising portrait does emerge. That portrait is in these pages, and you will come away with a new understanding of this essential American. §Here is the definitive illustrated biography of Abraham Lincoln, including for the first time every one of the 130-plus photographs that were taken of him, plus a vast photographic record of his times: The country when he came to lead it, the country when it split, the Civil War, and the extraordinary response to his death (the funeral train; the wakes; the mourning). This is the LIFE Book that has been waiting to happen, combining everything we do best-deal with history, deal with photography accurately and with insight, popularize what others might present as a dry topic.§Photographic biographies of Lincoln, done with the authority that LIFE can bring to bear, are scarce or non-existent. These are not just the famous Mathew Brady pictures. These are the early daguerreotypes, the "snapshots" from Gettysburg, the pictures of Lincoln communing with the troops. More than 130 photographs of Lincoln exist, and LIFE Books will include each one of them. There is photography of other events, including the funeral train.§This book will also include the best photography of the age: The Civil War, Washington D.C., America in the 1850s and '60s. This subject opens a door through which LIFE can look at a nation being documented by the camera for the very first time. That is the brilliant part of this book: When Lincoln came on the scene, photography was first coming into its own, and its largest successes in the era were America.
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