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by David Herbert DONALD

Download Lincoln epub
ISBN: 022404222X
ISBN13: 978-0224042222
Category: Biographies
Author: David Herbert DONALD
Language: English
Publisher: Jonathan Cape; 1st Ed. edition (1995)
Pages: 714 pages
ePUB size: 1852 kb
FB2 size: 1647 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 131
Other Formats: mobi lrf azw docx

This and Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals" are my two favorite books about the miraculous life of Abraham Lincoln.

I began reading about Lincoln as a teenager (I'm now 75). I was enthralled by Sandburg's multi-volume work, and the biographies written by other authors 50-60 years ago whose names I no longer recall. But today's scholarly writers, like Donald, have profited from the amazing amount of material about Lincoln which has emerged since the 30's and 40's, making all of those earlier works pale in comparison. Even Lincoln's own personal secretaries didn't get it quite right when they authored their version of the life of their mentor a few short years after his assassination (a work they continued to revise for many years thereafter).

I strongly recommend this and Goodwin's efforts above all other works about Abe.

I do not agree that Donald's book is dry -- or that his characterization of Lincoln lacks the spark due him. I found it informative, straightforward, and more than adequately faithful concerning his subject. I recently finished reading the two volume "Lincoln: Speeches and Writings 1832-1858 and 1859-1865 (Library of America)" and found much of Lincoln as disclosed in his own writing captured by Donald in his book.
When General Grant's army captured Richmond, President Lincoln wanted to see the place in person. Perhaps to regale in the relief that the four-year travail of war was really coming to an end. He stepped ashore, and he was noticed by a crew of black workers. Their foreman exclaimed, "Bless the Lord, there is the great Messiah! ...Glory, Hallelujah!"

As Professor Donald skillfully demonstrates, however, Abraham Lincoln was only human. He had just a single year of school, but he was an enthusiastic reader. After a few years as handyman, manual laborer, and store clerk, he became a lawyer. Then a politician. Honesty gave him humility. Charisma as a logical speaker gained him renown. Despite his gawky appearance, he developed into the man for the time. He became the Great Emancipator and the savior of the Union.

What makes one man stand above the rest? Read this book and find out. Ancestry, childhood, young adulthood, successful lawyer, popular speaker, husband and father, president, and thinker. All of this and more are presented in easy-to-read detail. Major events receive more detail: the debates with Stephen Douglas, victory at the 1860 Republican convention and the ensuing election, secession and war, writing the Emancipation Proclamation, writing the Gettysburg Address, the thirteenth amendment, the hopelessness of early 1864, reelection, the second inaugural, civil war victory, plans for reconstruction, and assassination.

I read Simon and Schuster's trade paperback, part of their Lincoln Library. Its cover is smooth and shiny with a profile of Lincoln. Its 599 pages of narration are followed by 87 pages of reference notes and 28 pages of index. The five maps are appropriately spaced. Unlike paperbacks with cheap prints, this one's thirty-two page portfolio is composed of glossy photographic plates.
This meticulously researched book gives insight into the life and mind of Abraham Lincoln. I've always admired Lincoln; he's always been my favorite president. This book, for me, humanized him, and in so doing made me admire him even more.

I'd never realized the political tightrope he navigated during his first presidential term as he struggled to hold the union together while at the same time balancing the differing political priorities of his senior advisors and members of his cabinet.

For those today who insist that the Civil War was about state's rights, this book makes it absolutely clear that the root cause of the war was slavery.

It's fascinating to see how Lincoln's beliefs about African Americans evolved over the years. From his early years when he supported settling the freed slaves in their own independent country, to the end of his life when he came to believe that the freed men deserved to be fully franchised citizens of the United States, Herbert does an excellent job of showing how and why his beliefs evolved.

This is not a fast read, but it is a very interesting book. I strongly recommend it for anyone who is interested in the history of the USA or who follows national politics. It is very relevant today in light of all the political debate about Black Lives Matter.

This book will stay with me for a long time and has made me even more of an admirer of Lincoln, the president and the man.
You can always tell a good biography by how you feel. If you feel like you are in the action, maybe sitting in the corner watching the events unfold, then that's a great biography. Well, this book is a great in that sense. It makes you feel like you are part of Lincoln's personal and professional life and it's an absolute page turner. With the volume of books written about Lincoln you can go as deep as you want, this book isn't deep. It is rather complete though.