Review – Lincoln’s Greatest Case

25622836Title: Lincoln’s Greatest Case: The River, the Bridge, and the Making of America
Author: Brian McGinty
Series: N/A
Genre: Nonfiction – history
Number of Pages: 288

My Rating: 


In 1856, the steamboat Effie Afton collided with the Rock Island Bridge. Abraham Lincoln served as one of the lawyers in the suit that followed. McGinty explores the events surrounding this incident and the effects this case had on Lincoln’s career.


Lincoln’s Greatest Case contains an occasional interesting fact, but overall it’s not worth reading.

This book is a disappointment and not at all what I expected. For one thing, it’s overly detailed. Some details are not worth knowing: they only make the book tedious. Making matters worse, the book is repetitive. Even though I love history, I was terribly bored by this book.

A big problem is the subject. There’s not much material there to begin with. The incident was not that monumental or unique, and Lincoln’s role in the case was fairly small since he wasn’t the head lawyer.

The book grasps desperately at any kind of evidence to prove this case was pivotal, and it offers flimsy arguments related to the implications of the case.

I forced myself to read through the entire book, but it was torturous. It ended up being the kind of book that makes me seriously consider giving up reading, at least for a week or two.

Have you read any good books about Abraham Lincoln? Let me know in the comments!



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