This brief, straightforward biography introduces and brings to life - for general readers and students alike - the president who has captured the interest of every generation of Americans since the Civil War. In Out of the Wilderness William Hanchett, a leading Lincoln scholar, follows Abraham Lincoln from his birth on the Sinking Springs farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky, through his family's move to southern Indiana, his mother's death, and his father's remarriage. Hanchett chronicles Lincoln's thirst for education, his achievements as a flatboatman, land surveyor, lawyer, and congressman, his life in central Illinois, his election to and tenure in the presidency, and his assassination. Hanchett's short, authoritative life of Lincoln will give readers a deeper understanding of how Lincoln's boyhood and young manhood helped shape his character. Readers will learn how Lincoln's self-directed study and clear thinking offset his lack of a formal education and enabled him to become a respected and successful attorney. They also will learn how Lincoln's uncanny leadership helped him to end slavery - the most controversial act of his controversial presidency - and still keep the divided North sufficiently united to win the Civil War. By focusing on a variety of roles and settings, Hanchett invites readers to get to know Lincoln as a man who was not only a president, but also a lover, husband, father, and friend.