What would have happened if Abraham Lincoln hadn’t been assassinated? Stephen L. Carter offers a startling legal thriller


Come and hear Stephen L. Carter read from his new novel at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 19 at R. J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Road, in Madison. The event is free, but reservations are required. Call (203) 245-3959.


What if the bullet fired by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater on April 14, 1865, had missed? Might one of our greatest presidents have faced an impeachment trial for overstepping his constitutional authority both during and after the Civil War?

Yale Law School professor and best-selling author Stephen L. Carter imagines what might have happened, in his latest novel, The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln.

The book tells the story of 21-year-old Abigail Canner, a young black woman who has a degree from Oberlin, a letter of employment from the law firm that has undertaken Lincoln’s defense, and the iron-strong conviction, learned from her late mother, that “whatever limitations society might place on ordinary negroes, they would never apply to her.” And so Abigail embarks on a life that defies the norms of every stratum of Washington society: working side by side with a white clerk, meeting the great and powerful of the nation, including the president himself.  But when Lincoln’s lead counsel is found brutally murdered on the eve of the trial, Abigail is plunged into a treacherous web of intrigue and conspiracy reaching the highest levels of the divided government.

This book brings together a courtroom drama, political suspense, and science fiction to capture the emotional tenor of post–Civil War America.

Some early reviews:

“With an encyclopedic command of period detail . . . Carter has created an entertaining story rooted in the legal, political and racial conflicts of 19th-century America. . . . Carter’s delight in all this material is infectious. He’s a fantastic legal dramatist, and there’s the constant pleasure of seeing his creation of Washington City in 1867, alive with sounds and smells. . . . History buffs can test their mettle by trying to unwind Carter’s entangling of fact and fiction, but anyone should enjoy this rich political thriller that dares to imagine how events might have ricocheted in a different direction after the Civil War.”
—Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“[T]he best legal thriller so far this year . . . I’ve liked Carter’s four previous forays into fiction. This one, I loved.”
—Patrik Henry Bass, Essence Magazine

“Washington readers will get a kick out of comparing Carter’s vivid portrait of late-19th-century DC with the city they know today. . . . But the best thing about sitting down with this rich, often thrilling novel is watching its alternative history unfold.”
—John Wilwol, The Washingtonian
“[T]he streets come alive in his vision of Washington . . . Carter’s tale comes to a conclusion as thrilling and untidy as the actual events that unfolded during the turbulent postwar years.”
—Andrew Dunn, Bloomberg.com

“A smart and engaging what-if that has the virtue of being plausible . . . Abigail makes for a grandly entertaining sleuth.”
Kirkus Reviews

“This novel has all the juicy stew of post–Civil War Washington, with the complexities of race, class, and sex mixed in. Carter draws on historical documents and a vivid imagination to render a fascinating mix of murder mystery, political thriller, and courtroom drama . . . Imaginatively conceived.”
—Vanessa Bush, Booklist(starred)

About the Author

Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University, where he has taught since 1982. He is the author of eight books of nonfiction, writes a column for Bloomberg View, and is a frequent contributor to The Daily Beast and Newsweek. The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln is his fifth novel.

His previous novels include The Emperor of Ocean Park, which was on the New York Times bestseller list for eleven weeks in 2002.


Sydney Sherman sees dead people!

Sometimes the best way to get your book out there is to publish it yourself. That’s what local medium Sydney Sherman did when she wanted to let people know about her unusual ability to talk with people who have passed.

Her book is now available, and she will be reading and signing copies at the Edward Smith Library in Northford, on July 14th from 11am-1p.m.

Here, in her own words, is her story:

My name is Sydney Sherman. I am a medium and a self-published author born and raised in Connecticut.

For many years I have helped many people connect to loved ones who have passed.  I have also spent a good bit of time educating people to recognize what is truly possible and showing how much our views of the Afterlife are manipulated by TV and movies rather than actual, rational experiences.

The idea for my book You Are Not Alone; Our Loved Ones Are Here…You’re Just Not Listening, came from my overwhelming desire to share my experiences and educate the public regarding the Afterlife.

The task of becoming self published was not an easy one. I used one of the many on-line services that provide everyone the opportunity to have their words and thoughts read by many.

My main focus for my book is to reach as many people as I can.  I want to give people hope–hope and an understanding that they too can still have a relationship with their loved ones who have passed. In my book I ask my readers this question: “Is it easier to believe what the mind tells you is true, or, is it easier to see the truth and convince your mind otherwise?”

You Are Not Alone…is a personal account of my life growing up in the ’60’s, being different. I trace my struggles to understand my difference and finally accept my ability.

My book also discusses the different myths and legends about many of the strange occurrences that surround us and how they came to be. I uncover the many “tricks of the trade” the “frauds” of the field use and educate my readers on how not to fall prey to their misconceptions.

For me, the book is my way to share my hard-won understanding of this gift with as many people as possible.

I will be reading and signing books at the Edward Smith Library in Northford, on July 14th from 11am-1p.m.


Future book signings and events will be posted on my website at www.sydneysherman.net.

Copies of my book are also available on my website.