By Chris Wright
on 7.17.12
Photo by Knopf

Historical fiction, especially “re-imagined” historical writing, runs the risk of coming off pretty damn awful. “What if Hitler had survived the war and opened a coffee and donuts shop?” all writers have asked themselves, and the lucky ones have been slapped by their peers and continued their cup of coffee, careers still intact. Stephen L. Carter has serious chops — try 8 non-fiction books, 4 novels and tenure at Yale Law on for size — and he’s conquered historical fiction with graceful writing and an intuitive, immersive plot in The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln ($18).

In the book, Lincoln has survived the assassination attempt that actually proved deadly in 1865 and must face charges that he overstepped Constitutional bounds in his conduct during the Civil War — a very true reality that grounds the novel. Abigail Canner, a young black law clerk working in Lincoln’s defense, faces danger and the fate of a President’s legacy. The book’s setting in the Reconstruction-era South along with a web of political and legal intrigue are a perfect summer read — why don’t you add it to your summer reading list?

Buy Now: $18

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