And There Was Light - Jon Meacham

And There Was Light

By Jon Meacham

  • Release Date: 2022-10-18
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 219 Ratings


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer Jon Meacham chronicles the life of Abraham Lincoln, charting how—and why—he confronted secession, threats to democracy, and the tragedy of slavery to expand the possibilities of America.

“Meacham has given us the Lincoln for our time.”—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Winner of the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize • Longlisted for the Biographers International Plutarch Award • One of the Best Books of the Year: The Christian Science Monitor, Kirkus Reviews

A president who governed a divided country has much to teach us in a twenty-first-century moment of polarization and political crisis. Hated and hailed, excoriated and revered, Abraham Lincoln was at the pinnacle of American power when implacable secessionists gave no quarter in a clash of visions bound up with money, race, identity, and faith. In him we can see the possibilities of the presidency as well as its limitations.

At once familiar and elusive, Lincoln tends to be seen as the greatest of American presidents—a remote icon—or as a politician driven more by calculation than by conviction. This illuminating new portrait gives us a very human Lincoln—an imperfect man whose moral antislavery commitment, essential to the story of justice in America, began as he grew up in an antislavery Baptist community; who insisted that slavery was a moral evil; and who sought, as he put it, to do right as God gave him to see the right.

This book tells the story of Lincoln from his birth on the Kentucky frontier in 1809 to his leadership during the Civil War to his tragic assassination in 1865: his rise, his self-education, his loves, his bouts of depression, his political failures, his deepening faith, and his persistent conviction that slavery must end. In a nation shaped by the courage of the enslaved of the era and by the brave witness of Black Americans, Lincoln’s story illustrates the ways and means of politics in a democracy, the roots and durability of racism, and the capacity of conscience to shape events.


  • Let There Be Light

    By Interested American
    The author presents Lincoln as an unlikely man of destiny who truly changed the world in spite of countless negative headwinds, both personal and political, throughout his presidential years. Surprisingly, Lincoln had to contend with far more division in the Country in 1861-65 than recent presidents have found. The difference is Lincoln was a man who held onto his principle’s and followed his conscience while making decisions that would affect the entire Country and each citizen. The author slowly intersperses Lincoln’s spiritual development as Lincoln realized his connection to the spiritual realm was his conscience……..and he used it well. A reader will undoubtedly appreciate Lincoln saving the Union at all costs.
  • And There Was Light

    By Small town mover
    An excellent new readable examination of Lincoln the Man and Lincoln the President! It give insights that should be considered in our turbulent times of today. Read it!
  • Fascinating

    By DrMcDougall
    One of the best biographers writing about one of the greatest presidents - definitely worth the read!