Along the way, Robert Lincoln bore witness to some of the most dramatic moments in America's history, including Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; the advent of the railroad, telephone, electrical, and automobile industries; the circumstances surrounding the assassinations of three presidents of the United States; and the momentous presidential election of 1912.
“Giant in the Shadows” also reveals Robert T. Lincoln's complex relationships with his famous parents and includes previously unpublished insights into their personalities. Emerson reveals new details about Robert's role as his father's confidant during the brutal years of the Civil War and his reaction to his father's murder; his prosecution of the thieves who attempted to steal his father's body in 1876 and the extraordinary measures he took to ensure it would never happen again; as well as details about the painful decision to have his mother committed to a mental facility.
In addition Emerson explores the relationship between Robert and his children, and exposes the actual story of his stewardship of the Lincoln legacy — including what he and his wife really destroyed and what was preserved. Emerson also delves into the true reason Robert is not buried in the Lincoln tomb in Springfield but instead was interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
Meticulously researched, full of never-before-seen photographs and new insight into historical events, “Giant in the Shadows” is the missing chapter of the Lincoln family story. Emerson's riveting work is more than simply a biography; it is a tale of American achievement in the Gilded Age and the endurance of the Lincoln legacy.
Early reviews of the book have overwhelmingly positive. Ron Reagan, presidential son, political commentator and author of “My Father at 100,” wrote, “It has never been easy growing up or living in the public eye. To do so under the enormous shadow cast by our 16th president would test the resiliency of even the doughtiest character. As historian Jason Emerson details in in this richly informative biography, Robert Todd Lincoln, the only one of Abraham Lincoln's children to survive into adulthood, bore his peculiar burden with quiet grace and admirable dignity.”