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

Lincolns Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln’s Image Audiobook, by Joshua Zeitz Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Joshua Zeitz Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner Publisher: Penguin Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2014 ISBN: 9780698135772
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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 attendeded 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. Download and start listening now!


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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About the Author

Joshua Zeitz has taught American history and politics at Cambridge University, Harvard University, and Princeton University. He is the author of several books on American political and social history and has written for the New York TimesWashington PostNew RepublicAtlanticDissent, and American Heritage.  A former congressional campaign aide and gubernatorial policy advisor and speechwriter, Zeitz lives with his wife and daughter in Hoboken and Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

About the Narrator

Malcolm Hillgartner is an accomplished actor, writer, and musician. Named an AudioFile Best Voice of 2013 and the recipient of several Earphones Awards, he has narrated over 175 audiobooks.