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EMERSON Giant in the Shadows The Life of Robert T. Lincoln Southern Illinois University Press Giant inthe Shadows The Life of Robert T. Lincoln J A S O N E M E R S O N Born in a boardinghouse but passing his last days at ease on a lavish country estate, Abraham and Mary Lincoln’s oldest and last surviving son, Robert T. Lincoln , played many roles during his lifetime. As a president’s son, a Union soldier, a minister to Great Britain, and a U.S. secretary of war, Lincoln was indisputably a titan of his age. Much like his father, he became one of the nation’s most respected and influential men, building a successful law practice in the city of Chicago, serving shrewdly as president of the Pullman Car Company, and at one time even being considered as a candidate for the U.S. presidency. Author Jason Emerson, after nearly ten years of research, draws upon previously unavailable materials to offer the first truly definitive biography of the famous lawyer, businessman, and statesman who, much more than merely the son of America’s most famous president, made his own indelible mark on one of the most progressive and dynamic eras in United States history. Along the way he bore witness to some of the most dramatic moments in America’s history , including Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; the advent of the railroad, telephone, electrical, and automobile industries; the circumstances surrounding the assassinations of three presidents of the United States; and the momentous presidential election of 1912. Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln also reveals Robert ’s complex relationships with his famous parents and includes previously unpublished insights into their personalities. Emerson reveals new details about Robert’s role as his father’s confidant during the brutal years of the Civil War and his reaction to his father’s murder; his prosecution of the thieves who attempted to steal his father’s body in 1876 and the extraordinary measures he took to ensure it would never happen again; as well as details about the painful decision to have his mother committed to a mental facility. In addition Emerson explores the relationship between Robert and his children, and exposes the actual story of his stewardship of the Lincoln legacy—including what he and his wife really destroyed and what was preserved. Emerson also delves into the true reason Robert is not buried in the Lincoln tomb in Springfield but instead was interred at Arlington National Cemetery. Meticulously researched, full of neverbefore -seen photographs and new insight into historical events, Giant in the Shadows is the missing chapter of the Lincoln family story. Emerson’s riveting work is more than simply a biography; it is a tale of American achievement in the Gilded Age and the endurance of the Lincoln legacy. Jason Emerson is a journalist and an independent historian who has been researching and writing about the Lincoln family for nearly twenty years. He is a former National Park Service park ranger at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois. His previous books include The Madness of Mary Lincoln, Lincoln the Inventor , and The Dark Days of Abraham Lincoln’s Widow, as Revealed by Her Own Letters. “Jason Emerson, the premier young Lincoln scholar today, has written the definitive biography of one of America’s neglected and misunderstood leaders in both nineteenth - and twentieth-century industry, law, and politics. Beautifully written and illustrated, this is one of the best Lincoln books to appear in many years.” —Wayne C. Temple, author of Abraham Lincoln: From Skeptic to Prophet “Remarkably, this is the first comprehensive, scholarly biography of Robert Todd Lincoln, a much-misunderstood figure who has been unjustly vilified for his treatment of his mother. An authority on the madness of Mary Todd Lincoln, Jason Emerson convincingly shows not only how his subject behaved honorably in dealing with her but also how he embodied the ideals of the Victorian gentleman. As his father was the liberator of the slaves, so Robert was the slave of duty.” —Michael Burlingame, author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life  “Here at last is the biography Lincoln aficionados have been waiting for. Historian Jason Emerson sweeps away a century of myths and misinformation about Robert T. Lincoln, including the musty old canard that he had no respect for his famous father and no sympathy for his emotionally fragile mother. This is an intimate, in-depth portrait...


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Subject Headings

  • Lawyers -- United States -- Biography.
  • Lincoln, Robert Todd, 1843-1926.
  • Children of presidents -- United States -- Biography.
  • Ambassadors -- United States -- Biography.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1865-1933.
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