An exciting contribution to the Lincoln library and a book with real news value. Herndon was Lincoln's law partner, and -- if he had lived -- would have been fittingly termed Lincoln's Boswell. He collected letters, interviews, records, notes for a life of Lincoln, and acted as his literary executor, with power of release for other biographers. Hertz has brought to light , from Huntington Library the material he had collected. It reveals Herndon as a devoted friend and admirer, who nonetheless knew his man (particularly in the pre-Washington days) and who did not hesitate to recognize Lincoln's mother's illegitimacy, Lincoln's mental instability at times, his confessed lack of love for his wife. And so on. Amazing tidbits -- gossipy but never malicious -- grand reading.