Dan Abrams to discuss Lincoln’s Last Trial during Evening with an Author

Lincoln's Last Trial book coverDan Abrams, chief legal affairs anchor for ABC News, will discuss his new book, Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case that Propelled Him to the Presidency, June 19, 7-8:30 p.m., at the Hilton Fort Collins, 425 W. Prospect Road. His appearance is part of Colorado State University’s Morgan Library Evening with an Author Series.

Tickets, which go on sale May 22, are $5 per person, and can be purchased in advance from Old Firehouse Books online (oldfirehousebooks.com), over the phone (970-484-7898), or in the store (232 Walnut St. in Old Town Fort Collins), or at the door. Tickets are good for admission – no reserved seating – and for $5 off the price of a copy of Lincoln’s Last Trial at the signing that will follow the program. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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Based on courtroom transcripts

It is difficult to claim to bring something truly new to the massive bibliography that’s been written about Abraham Lincoln’s life. Dan Abrams has done it thanks to a heretofore unknown transcript of People v. Harrison, a landmark self-defense case argued two years before Lincoln’s election to the nation’s highest office.

Just six months prior, Lincoln had been launched to national prominence with the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The debates also introduced him to Robert Hitt, the “steno man” charged with recording the debates verbatim, a fairly new practice. When Lincoln decided to defend the Harrison case, Hitt was on hand to transcribe the trial.

A loss at this stage could have crippled Lincoln’s political career, and the case posed painful personal challenges as well. The victim had trained for the law in Lincoln’s office, where Lincoln had been his friend and mentor. The accused killer was the son of a close friend and loyal supporter of Lincoln.

Lincoln’s Last Trial is a colorful portrayal of Lincoln’s monumental skill as a litigator, illuminating verbatim interactions with witnesses, cross-examinations, and even courtroom downtime. The book connects the events of the trial and the complex web of relationships between those in the courtroom to Lincoln’s life — his troubled marriage; brutal training as a self-taught, traveling new lawyer; and his time in the Black Hawk War — to create a full picture of one of the most examined men in American history.

Brand-new release

Dan Abrams portrait
Dan Abrams

Lincoln’s Last Trial, which is set for release on June 15, is Abrams’ second book. In March 2010, he published Man Down: Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers and Just About Everything Else. The book became a Washington Post bestseller, and has been translated into several languages, including Russian, Indonesian, Croatian, Swedish and Hebrew.

Abrams is also the host of both 60 Days In and Live PD on the A&E Network.

The Evening with an Author Series is presented by CSU Morgan Library and Poudre River Public Library, with support from Friends of Morgan Library, Poudre River Friends of the Library, Fort Collins Hilton, The Liggett Family Endowment, KUNC FM, and Old Firehouse books.