As 1862 dawned, the American republic was at death's door. The government appeared overwhelmed, the U.S. Treasury was broke, and the Union's top general was gravely ill. The Confederacy had a clear view to victory. To a remarkable extent, the survival of the country depended on the judgment, cunning, and resilience of the unschooled frontier lawyer who had recently been elected president, Abraham Lincoln. David Von Drehle has created a deeply human portrait of America's greatest president.