Tuesday, February 7, 2017


As Prairie Defender nears its July publication date, and I busily correct the page proofs and prepare the index, I'd like to share some reviews of the book which we have received:

"With over 16,000 books published about Abraham Lincoln is there need for another? Emphatically yes! And this contribution to understanding Lincoln proves it. Lincoln’s service as president was based in large part on his experience as a lawyer as well as his first love – politics. The author describes succinctly that Lincoln was a first rate attorney, especially in his counsel in criminal cases. While not a large part of his practice of over 5,000 cases, Lincoln’s defense of those charged with murder demonstrate that he was skilled in the art of cross examination and clever by half in convincing juries. Much of this comes from his empathy by putting himself in the place of another and experience what they were feeling. This noble and effective quality in Lincoln’s character is shown repeatedly in this volume."—Frank J. Williams, retired Chief Justice of Rhode Island and founding Chair of the Lincoln Forum

"George Dekle’s 'Prairie Defender: The Murder Trials of Abraham Lincoln' is not only an important addition to Lincoln legal literature, it is a must read for all lawyers, Lincoln historians, and legal scholars. Dekle relates the stories of Lincoln’s major homicide cases in scholarly detail and gives anecdotal background to the trials giving a life beyond the trials themselves. As a lawyer, Dekle’s analysis of Lincoln’s trial work will not only enable the modern lawyer to understand those trials, but as a superb writer he writes in a manner to make the book enjoyable to all readers regardless of their legal interests."—Travis H.D. Lewin, professor emeritus, Syracuse University

"Only an experienced criminal lawyer could have written this engaging book. The case by case study of Lincoln's murder trials in not a rehash of earlier volumes about Lincoln the lawyer . It is an original, in depth analysis of Lincoln's trial strategies, tactics, and techniques; it offers fresh insights into his ability as a trial lawyer. It a must read for anyone interested in evaluating Lincoln as a trial attorney."—Guy Fraker, author, Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency: The Eighth Judicial Circuit