Pulitzer Prize–winning author Ron Chernow described Lincoln on the Verge as “loaded with high drama, danger, and plentiful suspense,” and The Wall Street Journal described it as “Magisterial...Wholly original, gorgeously crafted…The story of Lincoln’s inaugural journey has never been told in such rich detail.”

Literacy Volunteers of Washington County invites you to a virtual event featuring award-winning author Ted Widmer, whose book Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s grueling and dangerous odyssey to Washington for his inauguration. As we approach Inauguration Day, Widmer and Lincoln scholar Frank J. Williams, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of RI and founder of The Lincoln Forum, will discuss the issues facing America at Lincoln’s inauguration and how they apply to today’s world.

About Lincoln on the Verge

As a divided nation plunges into the deepest crisis in its history, Lincoln boards a train for Washington and his inauguration—an inauguration Southerners have vowed to prevent by any means necessary. Drawing on new research, Ted Widmer reveals President-Elect Abraham Lincoln as a work in progress, showing him on the verge of greatness, foiling an assassination attempt, and forging an unbreakable bond with the American people. 


Event Details

This event will be broadcast online beginning at 6:00 p.m. on January 14. You will be emailed a private link the day before to view the conversation live or at any point afterward. Tickets are available for a suggested, tax-deductible donation of $10. You can purchase a copy of Lincoln on the Verge through our friends at Savoy Bookshop & Café using these links:

Hardcover: https://www.banksquarebooks.com/aff/literacyvolunteers/book/9781476739434

Paperback: https://www.banksquarebooks.com/aff/literacyvolunteers/book/9781476739441


Please note that this event will be held virtually and the interview will be conducted following the stringent safety measures recommended by the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Registration to this event will close on Thursday, January 14 at 12:00 pm EST. If you register after that time, you will receive a link to watch the event after the live presentation Thursday evening. 

About Ted Widmer

Ted Widmer is a historian and former presidential adviser who writes widely on history, politics, and their intersection. He is a Distinguished Lecturer at the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York. He has also directed research centers and libraries, notably at the Library of Congress, Brown University, and Washington College. Widmer holds an AB in the history and literature of France and the US, an AM in history, and PhD in the history of American civilization, all from Harvard University.


From 1997 to 2001, he was a foreign policy speechwriter and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton. In 2000 President Clinton asked him to assist in the planning process for the Clinton Library, and between 2001 and 2004 he collaborated with the former President on his memoir, My Life. He also served as a senior adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from 2012 to 2014. From 2010 to 2015, he helped create an ambitious series on the Civil War in the New York Times called “Disunion” and became one of its major contributors, in addition to editing the book that resulted. He also has contributed often to the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Guardian, and the New Yorker.


About Frank J. Williams

Frank J. Williams served as Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court from February 2001 to December 2008, and before that spent five years as the Associate Justice of the Superior Court. He is one of the nation’s leading authorities on the life and times of Abraham Lincoln and one of the country’s most renowned Lincoln collectors, having amassed an unsurpassed private library and archive that ranks among the nation’s largest and finest. He has served since 1996 as founding Chairman of The Lincoln Forum, a national assembly of Lincoln and Civil War devotees, and also served for nine years as President of the Abraham Lincoln Association, as well as the President of the Ulysses S. Grant Association.


A scholar of national reputation, Williams is the author or editor of over 20 books including Judging Lincoln, a book of his essays published in 2002 by Southern Illinois University Press. He was born in Cranston, RI, received his AB in government and history from Boston University in 1962, and then served in the US Army, eventually rising to the rank of Captain. Williams earned his JD from Boston University School of Law and a master’s degree in taxation from Bryant University. He is now an adjunct professor at Roger Williams University School of Law and the US Naval War College in Newport, RI.

Literacy Volunteers of Washington County

7 Elm Street, P. O. Box 245

Westerly, RI 02891

(401) 596-9411