An enlightening narrative revealing aspects of the former US president’s life that are often overlooked, An American Marriage tells the tragic story of Abraham Lincoln’s marriage to Mary Todd.
Based on 30 years of research, An American Marriage describes and analyzes why Lincoln had good reason to regret his marriage to Mary.
This revealing narrative shows that, as First Lady, Mary Lincoln accepted bribes and kickbacks, sold permits and pardons, engaged in extortion, and peddled influence.
Amy S. Greenberg said in a review for The New York Times that most scholars had approached Mary Lincoln’s shortcomings with compassion, excusing all but the worst of her sins on account of her traumas and mental illness. But Michael Burlingame, a leading expert on Abraham Lincoln and a professor of Lincoln studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield, believes this sympathy is misplaced and has obscured a central truth about Lincoln: That his home life was, as Lincoln’s law partner, William H. Herndon, put it, a “burning, scorching hell.”