Back to Top

02.25.01 Masters, Edgar Lee, Lincoln — The Man, published in 1931

Notes Concerning the Author

Edgar Lee Masters (1868—1950) was one of the most notable American poets of the 20th century, famous for his Spoon River Anthology. 

Our Review

Masters was so offended by Lincoln-worship that he devoted his time and energy to a 500-page  critical study of Lincoln that constitutes one of the most interesting and original of the countless books written about the Great Emancipator.  Masters had two great advantages in his work.  He lived and practiced law most of his life in Lincoln’s home country in central Illinois and thus was privy to much information that has not usually gotten into the biographies.  (Lincoln never carried an election in his immediate neighbourhood.)  Second, an active reformer, Masters  was very conscious of the corruption and  the enslavement to  bankers and big businessmen that   characterized the Illinois Republican party in Lincoln’s time and thereafter.  No one who has not seen what Masters has to say can claim that he knows the real Lincoln.

Availability of this Book

The original 1931 publication of Lincoln-The Man received limited exposure.  Attempts were made to suppress it and it was denounced in Congress.  In 1997 the Foundation for American Education brought out a complete hardback version that is still available new and used.