Lincoln's Other White House: The Untold Story of the Man and His Presidency

Lincoln's Other White House: The Untold Story of the Man and His Presidency

by Elizabeth Smith Brownstein


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The Lincolns spent the summer of 1862 north of the White House at the Soldiers’ Home. The lush, cool hill overlooking the squalid capital promised the Lincolns an escape from the "city of stink." Despite fears about Lincoln’s vulnerability in the secluded place, Lincoln spent a quarter of his presidency at the Soldiers’ Home. But until the National Trust for Historic Preservation began restoring the cottage, little had been done to explore this missing link in Lincoln’s life. Elizabeth Smith Brownstein fills in a critical gap. Using diaries, letters, and eyewitness accounts, she provides unusual perspectives on Lincoln’s relationships, traces the evolution of Lincoln’s image, examines the Lincoln marriage, and more. Lincoln’s Other White House is a vivid evocation of a turbulent era, and an intimate portrait of the still elusive president.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681620008
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 09/01/2005
Pages: 276
Sales rank: 1,098,722
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Born, raised, and educated Taunton, Massachusetts, Elizabeth Smith Brownstein found a love of history very early in life. She furthered her intense interest in American history at Wellesley College and The London School of Economics and Political Science. Her career, spent largely in the production of public affairs programs and cultural documentaries for both public and commercial television, began at CBS headquarters in New York City, where for four years I served as chief television researcher. Elizabeth has worked as writer, researcher, and producer for some of the distinguished, intellectually demanding figures in television: Lawrence Spivak, Eric Sevareid, Martin Agronsky, Adrian Malone, and Martin Carr.

Since the age of 18, Elizabeth has traveled widely in the United States, Europe, and Africa. She traveled across America, visiting over 125 potential sites in 20 states doing research for her first book, If This House Could Talk…Historic Homes, Extraordinary Americans (Simon & Schuster 1999). Abraham Lincoln’s Springfield, Illinois house, the only home he ever owned, was included in the book.  Intensive research on that site, together with childhood intrigue for her father’s small Lincolniana collection, furnished the base from which she began working on Lincoln’s Other White House.

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Table of Contents



PART ONE: Lincoln’s Long Journey to the Soldiers’ Home.

1. Beginnings.

2. The Riggs Villa.

3. Washington and the White House.

PART TWO: Lincoln at the Soldiers’ Home.

4. Embattled Retreat.

5. The Lincoln Marriage.

6. Lincoln’s Achilles’ Heel.

7. Lincoln’s Favorite Storytellers.

8. Lincoln and Freedom.

9. Poems on Slavery.

10. Lincoln’s Secretary of War.

11. Lincoln and the Tools of War.

12. Lincoln’s Quartermaster General.

13. Lincoln as Commander in Chief: The Soldiers.

14. The Generals.

15. The Political General: Daniel Sickles.

16. The Professional General: Joseph Hooker.

17. The Political General: Benjamin Butler.

18. Lincoln and His Cabinet.




Additional Sources.


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Elizabeth Smith Brownstein promises new material and perspectives beyond the familiar Lincolnalia and she delivers. Lincoln’s Other White House: The Untold Story of the Man and His Presidency is an engrossing account of Lincoln that centers on the Soldiers Home, but ranges well beyond the presidential retreat to consider a variety of topics—his marriage, his views on emancipation and race, even his relationship with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. This is a significant contribution to the study of the man and to his times and place."
-- Jean Baker, Professor of History at Goucher College

"Only on occasion does the unceasing flow of new Lincoln titles yield a book of fresh insight and graceful prose. Lincoln's Other White House has that rare distinction. Elizabeth Brownstein vividly captures life at the Soldiers’ Home, where the Lincolns found relief from wartime and White House stress. More than an account of their summer residence, this book also offers lively vignettes and thoughtful assessments of the Union generals, cabinet offices, politicians, and friends who visited him there."
--Cullom Davis, Editor, Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln

"This vivid new book will finally help the Soldier's Home find its rightful place in the epic of Lincoln's life alongside the Kentucky log cabin in which he was born, the house in Springfield, Illinois that symbolized his rise from poverty, and the Executive Mansion from which he directed the war that kept the country from coming apart."
--Geoffrey C. Ward, author of The Civil War: An Illustrated History

"This valuable, enjoyable, and unusual book not only makes known the importance of the Soldiers’ Home in the Lincoln story, but also is loaded with anecdotes, characters, poems, episodes, parodies by humorists, facts that one did not know. It ranges widely in a lively presentation of the domestic Lincoln, and of the place he spent 13 months of his presidency. I read it with profit and pleasure and recommend it highly."
--William Lee Miller, author of Lincoln's Virtues: An Ethical Biography

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