Just as an archeologist can reassemble pot shards and draw inferences about the civilization that produced it, I've examined a mass of verbal chunks left by Lincoln and people around him. I've sorted jumbled piles of fragments, restored them, and pieced them together in a way that reveals the speakers' world. --Richard Lawrence Miller, from the prefaceQuoting from eyewitness accounts, Richard Lawrence Miller allows Lincoln and his contemporaries to tell the story of this monumental American and bring a fascinating era of American history to life. The book covers Lincoln's birth through his first election to the Illinois legislature in 1834. Subsequent volumes will deal with Lincoln's life up to the White House years.