And There Was Light

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And There was Light: Abraham Lincoln and The American Struggle 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 at Ford's Theater on Good Friday in 1865. Pulitzer Prize winning author Jon Meacham explores Lincoln's rise, his self-education through reading, 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 of the 19th century, Lincoln's story illuminates the ways and means of politics, the marshaling of power in a belligerent democracy, the durability of white supremacy in America, and the capacity of conscience to shape the maelstrom of events.

Museum Story

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Behring Center, is responsible for the collection, care, and preservation of more than three million objects.


  • Hardcover
  • 720 pages
  • 2 - 16 page color photo inserts
  • 9.5" x 6.4"
  • Written by Jon Meacham (Pulitzer Prize winner)