A Friend of Mr. Lincoln by Stephen Harrigan

By Stephen Harrigan

The writer of the best-selling The Gates of the Alamo now supplies us a galvanizing portrait of Abraham Lincoln in the course of a crucially revealing interval of his lifestyles, the early Springfield years, whilst he risked either his sanity and his moral bearings as he sought for the good future he believed to be his.

It is Illinois within the 1830s and 1840s. Abraham Lincoln is a circuit-riding legal professional, a member of the country legislature, a guy of virtually ungovernable ambition. To his acquaintances he's additionally a loved determine, through turns charmingly awkward and mesmerizingly self-possessed—a guy of whom they, too, count on tremendous issues. between his pals and political colleagues are Joshua pace, William Herndon, Stephen Douglas, etc who've come to the exploding frontier city of Springfield to discover their futures.

It is thru one other buddy, a fictional poet, Cage Weatherby, that we are going to come to grasp Lincoln in his twenties and thirties, as a sequence of formative, marvelous incidents unfolds—his carrier within the Black Hawk conflict, his participation in a poetry-writing society, a problem to a duel that starts off as a farce yet quick rises to deadly power . . . Cage either admires and clashes with Lincoln, occasionally wondering his criminal ethics and his wary stance on slavery. yet he's through Lincoln’s facet as Lincoln slips from side to side among excessive spirits and soul-hollowing unhappiness and melancholy, and as he recovers from a disastrous courtship of 1 girl to marry the attractive, capricious, politically savvy Mary Todd. it truly is Mary who will deliver balance to Lincoln’s existence, yet who also will set off a clash that sends the 2 males on very various paths into the future.

Historically exact, wealthy in personality, jam-packed with the juice and goals and uncooked targets of american citizens at the make in an early frontier urban, a chum of Mr. Lincoln is a revelatory and relocating portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in his younger manhood. it's a close-up, related to adventure, this sort of brilliant glimpse underneath the veneer of historical past that basically some of the best fiction gives you.

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Try it again, Jaw. " A huge face loomed, a gaping jaw, the teeth surrounded by four short, squat tusks. " Longtusk felt a wash of fetid breath, a rush of air—and again there was an explosion inside his head. This time the world fell away, through deepening gold, into darkness. 7 The Taming The sun was high. He was standing. He was conscious of hunger, an even more powerful thirst. There was a strong scent of mammoth around him... but not quite mammoth. Milkbreath? " The voice came from directly before him.

Some of them seem to think you're a god. And that takes away from the Shaman's power. Having you around gives even little Lemming a higher status. " "No," said Longtusk bluntly. "All I'm saying is that if you give him an excuse, the Shaman will have you destroyed. Lemming is fond of you. But you're going to have to help him, to give him some sign that you'll cooperate, or else—" But now, as if to disprove Jaw's comforting growl, his own keeper approached: Spindle, thin, ugly and brutal. He lashed at Jaw with his stick, apparently punishing the mastodont for his minor theft of the food.

Four of them: four tusks. And, strangest of all, Longtusk made out a scar burned into his muscled flank: a strange five-pronged form, burned through the layers of hair and into his flesh, exactly like the outstretched paw of a Dreamer—or a Firehead. The other opened his great mouth and roared. A gush of warm, fetid air billowed out over Longtusk, stinking of crushed wood and sap. The not-mammoth's teeth were cones of enamel—not flat grinding surfaces like Longtusk's, but sharp, almost like a cat's cruel fangs.

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