By all measures, Steven Spielberg’s movie “Lincoln” is a huge success, with seven Golden Globe nominations plus screenings for President Obama at the White House and on Wednesday night for members of Congress on Capitol Hill.
It is a terrific movie that raises a lot of questions for many viewers about the 1860s, congressional politics, President Lincoln and his cabinet, questions children may be asking of their parents. The eminent Lincoln scholar and author Harold Holzer is ready with the answers in his companion book to the movie, “Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America.
It is written for young readers, generally considered middle school children and young adults, but parents will be pleased that it is a fast read for them and a good question-answerer.
Holzer, who was a consultant on the movie, is the author, co-author or editor of more than 40 books on Lincoln, including three other award-winning books written for young readers, “Farther Abraham: Lincoln and his sons,” “The President is Shot!,” “Abraham Lincoln, The Writer.” He was recently named the first recipient of the New York Historical Society’s Roger Hertog fellowship that he will begin in January.
The book is a delight, written for young people who may be discovering Lincoln and the Civil War for the first time. Historians are often asked what triggered their interest in the Civil War and the answer is usually a trip to a battlefield or a now-favorite book. This may be the book that brings along a whole new generation of Lincoln fans.