Stephen Carter is a Yale Law School professor an author of a number of best-selling novels.By Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Stephen Carter is a Yale Law School professor an author of a number of best-selling novels.The book:The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln: A NovelBy Stephen CarterKnopf, $26.95 Why it's hot: Books about Lincoln's assassination still fascinate — see Bill O'Reilly's best seller. In his new novel, Carter draws on his expertise both as constitutional scholar and as the author of four best-selling thrillers including The Emperor of Ocean Park.A taste: "He had been shot on Good Friday. On Easter Sunday, he had risen. By the middle of the week, the President was sitting up, meeting with his staff, once again in charge of the affairs of the nation."On sale: July 10The authorQuick bio: A professor at Yale Law School since 1982, Carter, 57, has also written eight non-fiction books, most recently The Violence of Peace: America's Wars in the Age of Obama. He and his wife have two grown children.His inspiration: The idea of writing a "what if" Lincoln book has been in "the back of my head" since Carter was an undergrad. The man from Springfield has fascinated Carter since elementary school when he would flip through his father's copy of Carl Sandburg's multi-volume Lincoln biography. Today Carter has a bookshelf filled with Lincoln books in his Connecticut house.Lincoln impeached? On what grounds? Lincoln is our greatest president, says Carter, "but because he faced a greater crisis than any other president, he did things that, in the light of history, don't look very good." Things such as suspending habeas corpus, shutting down newspapers and putting northern cities under martial law.Would Lincoln have succeeded in politics today? "Not a chance. He would been been dismissed as uneducated and too folksy. He was not very telegenic and had a funny voice."Any plans to see the summer movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter? "I don't know. It sounds like enormously silly fun," but he doubts his wife will agree.Up next: A historical novel about the Cuban missile crisis.His summer reading:An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies by Tyler Cowen; Attica Locke's The Cutting Season, a mystery set in Louisiana; andBourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre McCloskey.E-books or print? "I read mostly print. I love the feel of the books."For more information about reprints & permissions, visit our FAQ's. To report corrections and clarifications, contact Standards Editor Brent Jones. For publication consideration in the newspaper, send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include name, phone number, city and state for verification. To view our corrections, go to corrections.usatoday.com.