Award-winning historian and novelist Richard Slotkin recreates the childhood of Abe Lincoln.
In a brilliant work of historical imagination, Abe immerses the reader in the isolating poverty and difficult circumstances that shaped Abraham Lincoln's character. Marked by his mother's horrible death and the struggle to keep reading and learning in the face of his father's fierce disapproval, Abe persevered, growing into the complicated and empathetic man who changed the course of American history. Slotkin's Abe comes of age during a dramatic flatboat journey down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans. Along the way, Abe and his companions see slavery firsthand and experience the violence-and the pleasures-of frontier settlements and the cities of Natchez and New Orleans. Numerous historical characters make appearances alongside the colorful denizens of the Mississippi: preachers and vigilantes, planters and thieves, prostitutes and lady reformers.
Transformed by what he has seen and done, Abe returns to make his final break with his father and to step out of the wilderness into New Salem-and history.