Abraham Lincoln: The War Years by Carl Sandburg, Four Volume Set, First Trade Edition, 1939

Sandburg, Carl (1878-1967). Abraham Lincoln: The War Years. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1939. 4 volumes, 8vo. Illustrated. Original publisher's blue cloth with gilt titles to spines, top edges stained yellow. With a new custom lined slipcase with ribbon and Lincoln’s portrait inlaid on the front.

This is the first trade edition of Sandburg's influential biography of Abraham Lincoln, a four volume project titled Abraham Lincoln: The War Years. Published in New York by Harcourt, Brace & Company in 1939, this four volume set focuses on Lincoln’s life during the Civil War. The War Years serves as a companion piece to Sandburg’s earlier 1926 two-volume project, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years.

Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) was one of the leading experts on Abraham Lincoln and always had an enthusiasm for the story of America’s 16th president. His work on Lincoln quickly became one of the preeminent sets of reference books for Lincoln historians, and remains so today. Sandburg initially intended Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years to be a biography designed for young people, but the grandiosity of detail he accumulated quickly turned it into a much larger project. Prairie Years covered Lincoln’s early life all the way to his move to Washington D.C. After thirteen years of extensive research, Sandburg published his second set of Lincoln biographies, The War Years detailing stories of the president, the people he worked with, and the Civil War experience.

Sandburg received a Pulitzer Prize for his work. Additionally, Congress also asked him to speak at a joint session on Lincoln’s 150th birthday. This work is still considered one of the most detailed and reliable accounts of Abraham Lincoln’s life and is a testament to decades of dedicated research.


Very good condition. Four volumes, octavo. Paper is very healthy and clean. Illustrated throughout with photographs, printed wood engravings, and printed scans of documents. In the original publisher’s blue cloth with gilt titles to the spines. Top edges stained yellow, side edges deckled. With a new custom lined navy slipcase with navy ribbon and Lincoln’s portrait inlaid on the front. Dimensions (with slipcase): 9 7/8” H x 7 1/4” W x 7”D.

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