Meeting Lincoln through Jerome Charyn’s I Am Abraham

Hope everyone has gotten their copy of I Am Abraham: A Novel of Lincoln and The Civil War by Jerome Charyn.

I am always interested in how a book gets its title.  In the case of our current selection, “I Am Abraham“, the title refers to the first words that Abraham Lincoln ever wrote.

To enhance your reading:

Here is a short YouTube video of Jerome Charyn talking with Jack Ford about his novel, filled with tidbits to enjoy.


If the video does not appear you can see it here.

And here is a short review that appeared in The New Yorker last year.

Books MARCH 17, 2014 ISSUE

Briefly Noted


I AM ABRAHAM, by Jerome Charyn (Liveright). This daring novel narrates the life of Abraham Lincoln, focussing less on the broad strokes of history and wartime politics than on the intimate daily life of the Lincoln household. The portrayal of Mary as a Kentucky belle whose assertiveness had no socially acceptable outlets in her time, and whose fits of madness rivalled Lincoln’s own depressions, is particularly memorable. Secondary characters, some real and some imagined, include a feisty female Pinkerton who saves Lincoln’s life from an assassination attempt. Charyn’s richly textured portrait captures the pragmatism, cunning, despair, and moral strength of a man who could have empathy for his bitterest foes, and who “had never outgrown the forest and a dirt floor.”


Our conference call

with Jerome Charyn will be on

Sunday, February 15th at 7 pm EST.

Founder of the Politics for the People free educational series and book club for independent voters. Chair of the New York County Independence Party.

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