A huge biography, cram-packed with information, this is also a model of economy since it encompasses not only William Henry Seward but his time. Governor of New York State, United States Senator, vigorous opponent of slavery, leading pre-convention candidate for the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1860, Seward was a major political figure before becoming one of the greatest Secretaries of State in American history. Serving under both Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, he maintained American rights and prestige abroad during the Civil War, was responsible for expansionist policies and the purchase of Alaska in 1867. Of special merit here is the delineation of the close relationship between Lincoln and Seward. One comes to understand why Seward was almost murdered on the night of the assassination. The personal side of his life, his tragic marriage, his own character, are not scanted. What emerges is as complete a portrait of the man as one can hope to find. G. G. Van Deusen, Research Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Rochester, has previously biographed Henry Clay, Horace Greeley, Thurlow Weed, authored The Jacksonian Era, for which his extensive scholarship has received mention. He aided in the acquisition of the Seward papers for the University of Rochester.