Lincoln trilogy coming from former Clinton aide

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A former White House aide to Bill Clinton has spent the past few years writing a trilogy about the life of another president — Abraham Lincoln.

Sidney Blumenthal has a deal with Simon & Schuster, the publisher announced Tuesday. The three-volume biography has the working title "Abraham Lincoln: A Political Life." The first book, "A Self-Made Man," is scheduled to come out in 2015. Blumenthal will be edited by Alice Mayhew, whose other projects have included Doris Kearns Goodwin's million-selling Lincoln book, "Team of Rivals."

"I was privileged to work in the White House," Blumenthal said in a statement released by Simon & Schuster. "I have admired and studied President Lincoln for many years. My personal experience with the politics of the presidency inside the White House gave me a fresh appreciation and a new view of Lincoln's immense political skills and a new way of looking at how he became America's greatest political leader."

During a recent telephone interview with The Associated Press, Blumenthal said he had already completed all three volumes, each more than 500 pages, and had waited until he finished before seeking a publisher. Negotiations were handled by another man used to working with presidents, Washington attorney Robert Barnett, whose other clients include Clinton and President Barack Obama. Although Blumenthal wrote a cover story on Lincoln for Newsweek last year, he said he'd kept his biography a secret from everybody except his "wife and dog."

Blumenthal, 65, is a longtime journalist and author of several previous books, including a memoir about his years in the Clinton administration. Acknowledging the tonnage of Lincoln books that precede his, he said he wanted his Lincoln trilogy to "get to the root of the conflicts that still perplex us and conflict us."

"Many of the fundamental issues from his time still remain," he said, citing race and the role of the federal government.

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