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Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man

Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man


"This magnificent biography finally provides what William Henry Seward so justly deserves—a full, terrific and complex portrait of his endlessly fascinating life." —Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals
“After a rocky start during which Seward crossed swords with Lincoln in the issue of Fort Sumter and other matters, the secretary of state did indeed become the president's most indispensable ally. Politician, diplomat, raconteur, a figure of controversy and power, Seward has finally found a biographer equal to his importance.”—James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

"A beautifully told, carefully researched narrative of William H. Seward's momentous career, from his days as a rising young antislavery politician to his role as Lincoln's right-hand man during the Civil War, culminating in his achievements as architect of American empire. Walter Stahr has delivered a biography worthy of one of America's greatest statesmen." —Daniel Walker Howe, author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848

“In this fine volume, Walter Stahr has rendered a signal service by resurrecting the life of the often neglected William Henry Seward. His sweeping portrait of the long-standing Secretary of State is always lucid, engaging, scrupulously fair-minded, and deeply researched. This biography stands as a valuable addition to the rich literature of American politics in the mid-nineteenth century.” —Ron Chernow, author of Washington: A Life

“An intriguing featured character in Lincoln lore and biography, William H. Seward has long needed an updated, authoritative biography—and Walter Stahr has last produced the life story Seward deserves. Mining neglected sources and bringing analytical wisdom and literary craft to Seward’s complicated life, Stahr reveals the principled humanity within a political giant too long considered merely a crafty, frustrated office-seeker. Seward emerges from these pages as a major influence—not only on Abraham Lincoln, but on the transformation of 19th-century America.”—Harold Holzer, author of Lincoln at Cooper Union and Lincoln President-Elect

Seward is a fascinating biography about one of the most elusive men in history. Seward once claimed that he was an enigma even to himself; fortunately, he is not an enigma to Walter Stahr, who has succeeded admirably in capturing the full complexity of President Lincoln's right hand man. Stahr has written an important and necessary book.” –Amanda Foreman, author of World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the

“A complex man, often engulfed in controversy before, during and after the Civil War, William H. Seward is one of those rare American politicians who made a significant difference in the history of his time. Walter Stahr has reminded us of his importance in this superbly written book.”—Thomas Fleming, author of The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers

About the Author

Walter Stahr is the author of John Jay: Founding Father, a biography of America’s first Supreme Court Chief Justice. He lives in Exeter, New Hampshire, and Vienna, Virginia.

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