Join us March 25th at 5:00 to discuss House of Abraham: Lincoln and the Todds, a family divided by war by Stepehn William Berry. Additional copies are available to borrow now.
Book Summary: For all the talk of the Civil War “pitting brother against brother,” there has never before been a single book that traces the story of one family ravaged by that conflict. And no family could better illustrate the personal toll the war took than Lincoln’s own. Mary Todd Lincoln was one of fourteen siblings who were split between the Confederacy and the Union. Three of her brothers fought, and two died, for the South. Several Todds — including Mary herself — bedeviled Lincoln’s administration with their scandalous behavior. Award-winning historian Stephen Berry tells their family saga with the narrative intricacy and emotional intensity of a novelist. The Todds’ struggles haunted the president and moved him to avoid tactics or rhetoric that would dehumanize or scapegoat the Confederates. Drawing on his own familial experience, Lincoln was inspired to articulate a humanistic, even charitable view of the enemy that seems surpassingly wise in our time, let alone his.