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Download Abraham Lincoln: A Biography epub

by Lord Charnwood

No other narrative account of Abraham Lincoln's life has inspired such widespread and lasting acclaim as Charnwood's Abraham Lincoln: A Biography. Written by a native of England and originally published in 1916, the biography is a rare blend of beautiful prose and profound historical insight. Charnwood's study of Lincoln's statesmanship introduced generations of Americans to the life and politics of Lincoln and the author's observations are so comprehensive and well-supported that any serious study of Lincoln must respond to his conclusions.
Download Abraham Lincoln: A Biography epub
ISBN: 1568330669
ISBN13: 978-1568330662
Category: Biographies
Subcategory: Leaders & Notable People
Author: Lord Charnwood
Language: English
Publisher: Madison Books (July 26, 1996)
Pages: 352 pages
ePUB size: 1214 kb
FB2 size: 1101 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 920
Other Formats: lrf mbr txt lrf

Lord Charnwood (Godfrey Benson) was a respected British scholar and politician, born the year before Lincoln's assassination. He was not born of nobility but was made a Baron by King George V in 1911, five years before this book was published. His scholarship is apparent in this impressive biography of Lincoln.

Although "Abraham Lincoln" was written by an Englishman for Englishmen (Charnwood's own words) and his admiration of Lincoln is apparent from the beginning, the book is an objective, fascinating history that Americans can appreciate. The book was written in the historical "sweet spot"- decades removed from the tragedy of the American Civil War and Lincoln's assassination but not so distant that memories had faded and historical records vanished. In fact, Lincoln's son Robert had just been named ambassador to England.

This is not a lightweight biography; but an intelligent, comprehensive look at not only Lincoln but also other great personalities of his times as well as US history. The second chapter of the book alone is an interesting history of the early US prior to Lincoln. Spending time to give context adds greatly to our understanding of the man.

Americans learn about Lincoln in grade school so it is not surprising that the stories of Lincoln tend to be simple. Later studies of American history focus more on the American Civil War and the fight to end slavery than Lincoln the man and his overall philosophies. As a result many of us have a child's view of Lincoln with a simple acceptance of him as an icon/hero. Lord Charnwood's biography gives us a deeper view of Lincoln the man, the politician, his core beliefs and personality. Charnwood shows a man of great intellect and ambition, who was remarkably pure of heart and crude of taste. A man befuddled and shy of women but a champion of women's rights from the beginning of his career. A man who was admired for his honesty and humor but who suffered from chronic depression. A man who abhorred slavery from his youth but whose driving motivation was preservation of the Union above all else.

The true greatness of an individual is often obscured by anecdotes and myths that surround them. Abraham Lincoln is a classic example of this. I much prefer the hero Charnwood reveals to a one dimensional myth.

As a final note, this kindle version is very well formatted but there is a "trick" at the end. After the final chapter, appendix, biographical note and chronology, the book seems to end. Go to the table of contents and you can follow links to more content including Lee's opinion of the war and correspondence between Lee and Herbert Saunders.
This economic and elegantly written volume is an early 20th-century masterwork. Lord Charnwood, a British peer, academic, and politician with impeccable organizational skills, seems blessed with a talent for seeing the whole picture. Absent any sign of fawning or, conversely, scathing fault-finding, Charnwood's study of Lincoln and his times came to readers in manageable scope, including, in my opinion, those events and observations that best captured a complex and admirable man without elevating him to the status of a god. This is a deeply thoughtful portrait, and Charnwood (b. Godfrey Rathbone Benson, later Baron Charnwood) may well be held up more than a century later as still the finest of Lincoln's biographers.
Prince Persie
Lord Charnwood, born in England during the American Civil War, nears the end of a distinguished journalistic career when he writes this elegant, well-reasoned and researched book about Lincoln, fifty years after his death. The book follows Lincoln from his impoverished youth to his great triumph, holding the Union together during its deepest crisis. His sympathies are always clear but his case for them is eloquently stated and precisely argued. This book benefits by being from another country. The writer is not partisan, he is not dependant on the results of his book. He is won by the man Lincoln, as anyone who considers him fairly will be.
This book was written 100 years ago by a British historian.

Its time proximity to both the Civil War, and to America's founding and the problem of slavery, provide a unique perspective. Such perspective is rarely found in any contemporary writing about Lincoln, about the Civil War, about Republicans vs. Democrats, about the role of the Constitution, about what informed the American character that was willing to persevere, and put down the rebellion.

That it was written by a Brit, who both respected the US and what it represented, as well having a remarkable ability to define the man that Lincoln was in 1830, and had become by the time of his death, provides an additional dimension to the man, the period, and even to the price we pay today for the so-called Peculiar Institution. But it was not, and is not, for lack of many good people trying, then and now, to overcome the problems that were left in its wake.

And we will just have to overcome the fact that much about the racial issue has been driven backwards in the last five years.
Even though I was surprised that the front cover of the Kindle book spelt the author's name incorrectly, I thoroughly enjoyed this biography. It was written more than a century ago and the benefit is that you don't get comparisons to many of the "modern" wars, which could have cluttered the narrative. The author is writing for an English audience, and so terminology and events that would be self-evident to an American are carefully explained. The book makes many things clear about Lincoln and the Civil War which had always confused me before as a non-American. Despite writing so many years ago, the author's values and beliefs are liberal and "universal" and his approach to Lincoln is clear-eyed and balanced. His periods are a bit convoluted and his paragraphs are a bit long, but his choices in pulling out what he thought would enhance our knowledge of Lincoln, from the mass of material available to him, is impeccable.