Fiction in the form of an autobiography, as this book is purported to be the journal of Stanton. It's long and sluggardly, with Stanton, smug, opportunistic, self-motivated, not a particularly sympathetic character. His schooling, marriage and the loss of his wife and two children, law practice, and finally Washington where he finally succeeded in edging his way into Lincoln's cabinet as Secretary of War. He admits here his knowledge of the conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln, and his failure to prevent it because of his bitter opposition to the President which dated back many years. A stiff piece of writing, and a tedious one.