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During the Civil War, Americans felt themselves to be on intimate terms with their commander in chief, sending President Abraham Lincoln between two hundred and five hundred pieces of mail every day - letters that expressed the concerns, aspirations, grievances, and obsessions of the nation. Ranging from weighty political tomes to greetings accompanying homespun gifts, the letters reflect the pulse of the country in a time of upheaval. This illuminating collection includes straightforward correspondence from ordinary Americans requesting autographs and favours, as well as pleas from the influential, such as the anguished open letter from New York Tribune publisher, Horace Greeley, imploring Lincoln to end his remiss policy of caution on emancipation. This new paperback edition, featuring twenty-two illustrations, portrays a president clearly eager to review and respond to the advice, criticism, and requests of the nation's citizens.
Harold Holzer is the senior vice president for external affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Among the country's leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era, Holzer is the author, coauthor, or editor of twenty-three books - including The Lincoln Image, The Lincoln Family Album, and Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President - for which he has received numerous awards. He is the cochair of the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Visit www.haroldholzer.com for more information.