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Download Lincoln’s Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln’s Image Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Lincoln’s Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln’s Image, by Joshua Zeitz Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joshua Zeitz Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartne Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A timely and intimate look into Abraham Lincoln’s White House through the lives of his two closest aides and confidants.

Lincoln’s official secretaries John Hay and John Nicolay enjoyed more access, witnessed more history, and knew Lincoln better than anyone outside of the president’s immediate family. Hay and Nicolay were the gatekeepers of the Lincoln legacy. They read poetry and attended the theater with the president, commiserated with him over Union army setbacks, and plotted electoral strategy. They were present at every seminal event, from the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address—and they wrote about it after his death.

In their biography of Lincoln, Hay and Nicolay fought to establish Lincoln’s heroic legacy and to preserve a narrative that saw slavery—not states’ rights—as the sole cause of the Civil War. As Joshua Zeitz shows, the image of a humble man with uncommon intellect who rose from obscurity to become a storied wartime leader and emancipator is very much their creation.

Drawing on letters, diaries, and memoirs, Lincoln’s Boys is part political drama and part coming-of-age tale—a fascinating story of friendship, politics, war, and the contest over history and remembrance.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Those were remarkable days involving remarkable people, and Zeitz does an admirable job bringing them to life, from the boredom Hay felt in returning to Illinois after the excitement of studying at Providence, RI’s Brown University to the swirl of activity in the Lincoln White House as the war unfolded to the aftermath of Lincoln’s assassination.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “This audiobook isn’t about Abraham Lincoln but about the two men most responsible for the Lincoln we know today. Narrator Malcolm Hillgartner offers a steady reading that makes the work flow along nicely. Lincoln’s private secretaries had a front-row seat on history, from Springfield, Illinois, to the White House. After Lincoln’s death, John Hay and John Nicolay wrote the definitive biography, based on official papers no one else had access to. The author liberally uses direct quotes, and Hillgartner pauses ever so slightly before each, suggesting quotation marks with his silence. He also occasionally gives speakers a regional accent. Both actions are effective.”


  • “Fascinating scholarship from Zeitz, who knows how to present history to an audience of nonspecialists.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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