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Land of Lincoln Statewide Read: Connecting with Mr. Lincoln

Dust jacket cover of the book Lincoln:  A Life of Purpose and Power

What Books Did Lincoln Read?


Throughout the early portion of the book, Dr. Carwardine lists several books and other reading materials that Lincoln read besides his school books. Lists appear on pages 6, 32, 35, 37, and 38. Many of those books and authors helped shape Lincoln's education and his views. Those books are:

The Bible

Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Aesop's Fables

Life of George Washington by Parson Weems

Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin

English Grammar by Samuel Kirkham

Lessons in Elocution by William Scott

Commentaries on the Laws of England by William Blackstone

Louisville Journal newspaper

Henry C. Carey's works

Euclidean Logic

Age of Reason by Tom Paine

Ruins by Constantin de Volney

The poem "Holy Willie's Prayer" by Robert Burns

The Christian's Defense by James Smith

Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation published in 1844 by Anonymous, later revealed to be author Robert Chambers

Various writings by Unitarians William Ellery Charming and Theodore Parker


--Compiled by Kay Shelton from Dr. Carwardine's book


Books About Lincoln

Countless authors wrote books about Abraham Lincoln. There are more books about Lincoln than anyone else in history except for Jesus Christ. No list could be comprehensive but here are a few other books about Lincoln that you may like:

Foner, Eric, ed. 2008. Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Dr. Foner is the editor of this collection of essays and he wrote the chapter "Lincoln and Colonization."

Listen to a Podcast of Dr. Foner on "Lincoln, Emancipation, and the Rights of Black Americans" on The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Web site




Kearns Goodwin, Doris. 2005. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Listen to a Podcast of Dr. Goodwin on "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" on The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Web site




For a list of previous winners of the Lincoln Prize, please click this link to the Gettysburg College Web site.




Sinha, Manisha. 2008. "Allies for Emancipation?: Lincoln and Black Abolitionists." In Foner, Eric, ed. Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Listen to a Podcast of Dr. Sinha on "Lincoln and Black Abolitionists" on The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Web site




Wilson, Douglas L. 2006. Lincoln's Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Wilson, Douglas L. 1998. Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Davis, Rodney O. and Wilson, Douglas L. (eds.) 2008. The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The Lincoln Studies Center Edition. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Douglas L. Wilson, Co-Director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois won the distingushed Lincoln Prize twice. For more books published by these two outstanding scholars, please see the list at the Knox College Web site.




Amazon.com has a link to the previous Lincoln Prize winning books.