Jason Emerson

Jason Emerson is the author of Lincoln the Inventor, The Madness of Mary Todd Lincoln, and a forthcoming biography of Robert Todd Lincoln.

Magisterial and Indispensable


Washington: A LifeBy Ron Chernow (The Penguin Press, 904 pages, $40) At the end of the Revolutionary War, as General George Washington traveled to Annapolis, Maryland, to resign his military commission and enter into retirement, the Pennsylvania assembly commissioned a portrait of the victorious continental leader. The chosen artist, Charles Willson Peale, exchanged letters about […]

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Their Finest Hour


Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America By Craig Shirley (ISI Books, 740 pages, $30) The landslide outcome of the 1980 presidential election now seems a foregone conclusion. With double-digit inflation and interest rates, high taxes, a loss of international prestige, and the indignity of American hostages in Iran, President Jimmy […]

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Lincoln’s Decisive Switch


Lincoln at Peoria: The Turning Point By Lewis E. Lehrman (Stackpole Books, 412 pages, $29.95)     The first Lincoln-Douglas debates. The turning point. The political catalyst. The Peoria speech. These are some of the terms used to describe Abraham Lincoln’s return to politics in 1854 after a five-year hiatus. It was a seminal turning […]

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