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July 11, 2013

New Biography of Robert Lincoln, Son of Abraham, Is Subject of Book Discussion

Robert T. Lincoln was Abraham and Mary’s oldest and last-surviving son, yet little has been published about the lawyer, businessman and statesman who lived during one of the most progressive and dynamic eras in U.S. history.

In "Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln" (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012), Jason Emerson, after nearly 10 years of research – much of it done at the Library of Congress – draws upon previously undiscovered materials to offer the first truly definitive biography of this son of the 16th president. Emerson will discuss and sign his book on Tuesday, July 16, at noon in the Mumford Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library of Congress James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event is co-sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Library’s Manuscript Division. It is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

Robert Lincoln played many roles during his lifetime – as a president’s son, a Union soldier, a minister to Great Britain and a U.S. secretary of war. He became one of the nation’s most respected and influential men, building a successful law practice in Chicago, serving as president of the Pullman Car Co., and at one time even being considered as a candidate for the U.S. presidency.

Lincoln also witnessed some of the most dramatic moments in America's history, including Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; the advent of the railroad, telephone, electrical and automobile industries; and the circumstances surrounding the assassinations of three presidents of the United States (Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley).

Jason Emerson is a journalist and an independent historian who has been researching and writing about the Lincoln family for nearly 20 years. He is a former National Park Service park ranger at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Ill. His previous books include "The Madness of Mary Lincoln," "Lincoln the Inventor" and "The Dark Days of Abraham Lincoln’s Widow, as Revealed by Her Own Letters."

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading- promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library of Congress annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center and Poetry and Literature Center.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.

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PR 13-131
07/11/13
ISSN 0731-3527

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