The first publication reviews of Seward have appeared. They are favorable; indeed the review in the Dallas Morning News could be described as glowing. It ends with the following: “Writing like that makes history come alive: a researcher digging into the mines of the past and quarrying new insight on an old story. Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man is filled with these stories powerfully told by a historian who has provided a great book worthy of a great man.”
There is also a long, learned review of the book in tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal, now available online. It ends with the following: “This highly readable biography, based on thorough research in original sources, effectively shows that Seward deserves more fame as a patriot-statesman than he has traditionally enjoyed.” The reviewer, Michael Burlingame, faults me for not emphasizing enough the role that corruption played in the decision to give Lincoln rather than Seward the 1860 nomination. But I do discuss the corruption in New York politics, on page 186, and note that it “rubbed off” on Seward. One leading Connecticut politician, otherwise favorable to Seward, said he would support others because “his administration would be the most corrupt the country has witnessed.”
Overall, of course, I am highly gratified, and hoping that the reviews will soon translate into readers.