Quotes & Reviews

“What a touching and revealing new way to view the life of Lincoln, and what a life it was! I can easily imagine Americans across several generations enjoying this tale of a wonderful personal journey.”
— Carole King, Singer/Songwriter

“An interesting and intimate look at Lincoln, as only a mother could. The use of actual quotes woven into the telling of the story provided a rare balance of authenticity and accessibility.”
— Matthew Mittelstaedt, Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site

“Author finds new approach for Lincoln story — Historical novel delves into stepmother’s influence on the president”
ToledoBlade.com

“Jeff Oppenheimer’s historical fiction debut takes the form of a “deposition” made by Abraham Lincoln’s best friend and erstwhile law partner, William Herndon, in the form of ten long interviews he had with Sarah Bush Lincoln, the slain president’s aged stepmother, in the years after Lincoln’s death. It is a simple narrative conceit that Oppenheimer handles extremely subtly and extremely well, an enticingly unconventional way to tell some of the stories of Lincoln’s life from the viewpoint of the woman who found him as little more than a wild animal and gradually, patiently shaped him and believed in him – and lived long enough to see him become President of the United States.” Read the Full Review
HistoricalNovelSociety.org, Laura Fahey


Interesting and readable!
Nice treatment of Lincoln’s life from the perspective of a remarkable woman. For all the praises heaped on Lincoln, Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln deserves a good deal of the credit! – By Carol J. Shafer

GAR Grand Army Republic Scout
Author Jeff Oppenheimer has written a fictional account of that meeting and interview, and yes the author takes literary license in the telling of this story, but the facts remain and they are true to the notes of Billy Herndon. It is a good story, a story of motherhood, a stepmother’s love for her stepson. It is a story of encouragement and desire. – FROM THE MUSEUM’S BOOKSHELF – Hugh Boyle – Read the Full Review and more…

Oppenheimer’s uncanny mastery
As portrayed here, Sarah Bush Lincoln is the most compelling heroine I have ever encountered. Mightily self-assured, witty, and deeply yet quietly compassionate, she is a fascinating exemplar of the iron spirit which built America and its greatest President. Oppenheimer’s uncanny mastery of frontier idiom makes a lot of this book eminently quotable. – By Craig Stout

This book can be appreciated by anyone who enjoys a story of love and heroism
Historical perspective is most powerful when humanized. In That Nation Might Live, author Jeff Oppenheimer successfully transports his readers back into era of Lincoln with vivid color and dialogue, and through the lens of his stepmother, artfully chronicles the maturation of Lincoln as a lawyer, politician, and moral leader. This book can be appreciated by anyone who enjoys a story of love and heroism, not just those interested in history. Highly recommended. – By Eliot Bencuya

I enjoy history and read as much as I can about…
I purchased this book at the Collingswood NJ Book Fair and had the opportunity to speak with the author. I enjoy history and read as much as I can about Lincoln, his life, and the Civil War. It is always good to have a different perspective on history. Mr. Oppenheimer has added the human touch to the life of one of the greatest presidents this country has ever had. I am glad I took the time to pick up this book a good addition to my collection. – By Deborah L. Floyd

Can’t wait for Oppenheimer’s next book!
This brilliantly crafted book uses historical events as the backdrop for a much more compelling story about the transforming and healing power of love. It is a fascinating look into the human side of Lincoln from birth through his rise to greatness. It makes you realize that the lives of our American heroes are far more interesting and complex than we ever imagined. Oppenheimer has a gift for historical fiction and I can’t wait for his next book! – By L. Stran

Civil War News Book Review
Relying on Herndon’s fragmentary notes, Jeff Oppenheimer fashions an afternoon conversation with Mrs. Lincoln presented in 10 stories, each of which brings to life the people and events that made Abraham Lincoln the man he was… This book is highly recommended for its novel approach, unique understanding of our 16th President, and a pleasant reading experience. – Read the Full Review By Wayne L. Wolf on CivilWarNews.com

That Nation Might Live: A Review
Jeff Oppenheimer has written That Nation Might Live: A Story of Motherhood, Abraham Lincoln & the Civil War. This is the transcript of an 1865 interview Lincoln friend William H. Herndon had with Sarah Bush Lincoln, the aging step-mother of the Great Emancipator. What makes this more than your run of the mill historical primary document is that the author the recreates the setting of the conversation from his own imagination, using the actual notes of the event where possible. – Read the Full Review on The Baseball Historian

Surprisingly awesome!
I am in NOOO way a History buff but a close friend gave me this book and said I HAD to read it… He was right! Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the read, not only did I get through it extremely fast because I could not put it down, but it has inspired me to start an amateur history buff career! I am going to look for books about Lincoln and historical reads in general… as long as they have entertaining story lines, ha. Thank you Jeff Oppenheimer for broadening my horizons and I will be anxiously awaiting your next one!!! – By Gabby Flanders

Lincoln made real
Lincoln has always been a folk hero for me…this book made him a person…a hero with substance. Presenting the reality of Lincoln through the eyes of those who loved and knew him made this the most informative work on Lincoln I have ever read. Presenting the story in the real language of the people and the times made it a fascinating experience. Thank to the author for sharing this obvious work of love…and art. – By Anne Meyers

Interesting book
This book is an excellent and fascinating read, the stepmom of our greatest president has much to say about this man in his boyhood years, things I never knew and I am an avid Lincoln historian. – By Roviscardi

Unique perspective
Well done! Loved the historical significance of this book. Made it to be a very interesting read and a very unique perspective. Highly recommended! – By J. Truong

Wonderful Little Book
This was a great read. I love when you get to learn something new and varied on a subject about which as long been written and studied . The dialect was so authentic it transported you back in time as you read about Lincoln through the eyes of his beloved stepmother. Thoroughly enjoyed it! – By Sue Cooper

A side of Lincoln’s story you never heard
As someone who has an interest in US History, I thought I knew a lot about Abraham Lincoln. However, this book taught me much more than I knew about one of the nation’s best presidents. From start to finish, I was hooked on learning more about Lincoln and his stepmother. This book is a definite must-read for any US history aficionado. – By Jersey Rugger

Wonderful Read
As a closet history buff, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The book tells the story of the childhood and early life of Abe Lincoln, through the eyes of his stepmother, providing insight into what made him such a great President. Although the book contains a great deal of history, it reads like a story, and is a very quick read. – By Robin Canowitz

Fun and insightful
This was a good read, lots of facts and historical context but a good story to keep you interested. I particularly liked the quotes at the beginning of each chapter, it give it an authentic feel. The one scene that described how Lincoln witnessed slavery first-hand was intense. The motherhood angle gave a fresh perspective to a subject I didn’t know much about. Pretty cool rags to riches story. – By Angie

Heartwarming!
Loved it, and I don’t even like history much! Wonderful stories of Lincoln, and a very easy read. I highly recommend! – By Mrs Julie Fuller

Not your ordinary history book
This is a great book for someone who likes history or wants to learn more about Lincoln, but finds most history books dry and boring. It tells the story of Abe Lincoln from boyhood, and how his mother and step-mother influenced his life. It really gives you a feel for what life was like in the 1800s; and you get to understand how Abe became the amazing man he was. The author has found a way to do so in an entertaining way, not just by throwing a bunch of facts at you. You’ll enjoy reading the story and forget you are even learning. – By Lillian A. Padua

Inspiring and Unforgettable
What a lovely little book! Author Jeff Oppenheimer has done an amazing job, drawing from so many historical sources, to tell the story of Lincoln’s boyhood and youth, and his close bond with his stepmother, Sarah Bush Lincoln. We see the boy Abe Lincoln through her eyes, and through the eyes of his best friend and law partner, William Herndon. Sarah’s encouragement and nurturing through the years played a strong role in preparing Lincoln to become president. I challenge all readers to get to the end of the book without shedding a tear or two along the way. If you’re interested in Abraham Lincoln, do not miss this wonderful tribute to him, and to mothers everywhere. – By Charlene Keel