“In his captivating new book, Jon Meacham has given us the Lincoln for our time. And There Was Light brilliantly interweaves the best of gripping narrative history with a deeper search for the complex interplay among morality, politics, and power in a life, in a democracy, and in an America ripped apart over slavery. Here Meacham takes us to the heart of the president who shaped events at ‘the existential hour.’ In doing so, he fortifies us to meet our own.”—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
“Biography at its best, the great historian Barbara Tuchman wrote, paints an intimate portrait of an individual which simultaneously provides a sweeping view of history. With this deep, compelling work, Jon Meacham has achieved this gold standard. Written with wisdom and grace, his story of Lincoln’s complex moral journey to Emancipation mirrors America’s long quest to live up to its founding ideals.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin
“With his singular gift for compelling narrative and groundbreaking analysis, Jon Meacham illuminates not only Lincoln and his times but, just as much, the troubled society that we live in today.”—Michael Beschloss
“Jon Meacham has given us a Lincoln for our perilous times, a story in which slavery and racism are not an afterthought. You will not find any recourse to myth or legend in these pages. With the elegance of his pen and the power of story, Meacham draws a portrait of a complex man who answered the call of history.”—Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
“Jon Meacham’s acute understanding of American politics yields a singularly illuminating portrait of the greatest political leader in our history. Meacham’s Lincoln is no prophet or saint, but no prophet or saint could have accomplished what he did.”—Sean Wilentz
“A masterful, highly readable biography . . . In an era when autocracy is on the march, this timely book sheds a bright light on Lincoln’s role as a paladin and vindicator of democracy.”—Michael Burlingame
“So much more than another account of Abraham Lincoln’s life, Jon Meacham’s profound new biography dives into Lincoln’s very soul, and the result is one of the most compelling and absorbing portraits ever crafted. This book instantly takes its place at the forefront of the Lincoln literature.”—Harold Holzer
“An essential, eminently readable volume for anyone interested in Lincoln and his era.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Pulitzer winner Meacham more than justifies yet another Lincoln biography. . . . Nuanced and captivating . . . drawing sharp parallels to Lincoln’s battles against ‘an implacable minority’ . . . and today’s moment of polarization . . . For Meacham, Lincoln is above all ‘an example of how even the most imperfect of peoples . . . can bend the arc of the universe toward justice. . . . Richly detailed and gracefully written.”—Publishers Weekly