US History 58: Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America’s Most Perilous Year: One on One with David Von Drehle

Bestselling author David Von Drehle talks about the eight years he spent researching Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War for his book Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America’s Most Perilous Year.  Von Drehle explains how he found it hard to imagine how our 16th president survived 1862 with so many struggles politically and personally. The U.S. Treasury was broke, the Union’s top general was on his deathbed and the Confederacy was poised for a victory.  In his personal life, two of Lincoln’s sons came down with typhoid fever, Willie would ultimately die from the disease and his wife Mary Todd would tumble into deep depression. Von Drehle says it was how Lincoln responded to these situations that established him as one of our nation’s greatest leaders.