Andrew Johnson is often dismissed as the vice president who succeeded Lincoln and who was threatened with impeachment. This book helps give him the stature he earned by his rise from the simplest of beginnings to the national limelight. As a boy in North Carolina and Tennessee, his thirst for book learning and interest in what others were thinking led him to choose a line of work where he could quietly listen to men of letters talking, discussing affairs, and so on. His own staunch political opinions took shape. His marriage helped considerably. He won- through his own efforts- a great measure of recognition, and step by step, attained his political goals- though as a person he never reached Lincoln's glory. The treatment even through the unsavory episode of his attack by Congress is sympathetic and throws light on a contradictory period of our history.