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Abraham Lincoln Hardcover – Large Print, May 1 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 237 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition (May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786250836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786250837
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 626 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,203,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS BORN on a mattress of corn husks in a nest of bear rugs on the morning of February 12, a Sabbath, 1809. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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By Oddsfish on May 26 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm only a casual reader of history and biographies. I didn't want to read a thousand-page work about Lincoln's extraordinary life. I only wanted an overview, some sort of work to give me a sense of the man. For my purposes, this little biography by Thomas Keneally was a success. It's brief, but it hits all of the most important points of the presidents life. It captures the contradictions and conflicts that marked Lincoln's life, and it does so with, at times, soem true lyricism. Keneally is a good writer (though his fiction such as Schindler's List is much better) and particularly over the first part of this biography, that is evident. The biography only suffers during the last half when Lincoln seems to disappear behind Keneally's depiction of the war. I don't think Lincoln's great role and conflicts during the war were aptly shown. Also, the biography ended too abruptly with no attempt at summation. I know that the Penguin Lives reach for brevity, but this is one of the shorter books in that series. Keneally could have given Lincoln another twenty pages and still been under 200 pages. Nevertheless, this biography is good, certainly serving its purpose as an overview that will answer essential questions and incite further inquiry into life of one of America's greatest presidents.
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Format: Hardcover
All in all, this is a reasonable but uninspired biography suitable for anyone not otherwise familiar with the heritage and life of America's greatest, or at least second-greatest, president.
History, even biography, is an examination of the past to understand the present and offer a guide for the future. On this basis, the contrast between Lincoln and modern politicians is abundantly relevant; Kenneally makes abundantly clear that Lincoln was a compromiser, a man concerned with temporary expediency of policy, a man of stubborn persistence and long-held values. Unlike today's politicians, who like bold decisive actions, he was not a man of unilateral impulsive decisions and hasty judgments.
As Kenneally makes clear, it was the Confederate leaders who recklessly and unilaterally plunged into the Civil War. Had they accepted Lincoln's compromise efforts, the Old South might still be a cotton-picking slave society; at the very least, slavery would have lasted for decades past the Emancipation Declaration of Jan. 1, 1863.
Sound familiar? Lincoln had his own "radical right" critics; instead of being ruled by their evangelical values, he remained in charge and favored gradualism. This gradualism may have been beneficial, or it may have been disastrous. Kenneally writes, "But even Lincoln began to believe, as McClellan delayed, that some Democratic generals didn't really want anything drastic to happen to the Confederacy, fearing that a great victory would encourage the administration to emancipate slaves."
Perhaps Lincoln's compromise and gradualism meant he selected "cautious" generals rather than plunge an unprepared army into disaster as happened at Bull Run on July 21, 1861. Except for U.S.
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Format: Hardcover
All in all, this is a reasonable but uninspired biography suitable for anyone not otherwise familiar with the heritage and life of America's greatest, or at least second-greatest, president.
History, even biography, is an examination of the past to understand the present and offer a guide for the future. On this basis, the contrast between Lincoln and modern politicians is abundantly relevant; Kenneally makes abundantly clear that Lincoln was a compromiser, a man concerned with temporary expediency of policy, a man of stubborn persistence and long-held values. Unlike today's politicians, who like bold decisive actions, he was not a man of unilateral impulsive decisions and hasty judgments.
As Kenneally makes clear, it was the Confederate leaders who recklessly and unilaterally plunged into the Civil War. Had they accepted Lincoln's compromise efforts, the Old South might still be a cotton-picking slave society; at the very least, slavery would have lasted for decades past the Emancipation Declaration of Jan. 1, 1863.
Sound familiar? Lincoln had his own "radical right" critics; instead of being ruled by their evangelical values, he remained in charge and favored gradualism. This gradualism may have been beneficial, or it may have been disastrous. Kenneally writes, "But even Lincoln began to believe, as McClellan delayed, that some Democratic generals didn't really want anything drastic to happen to the Confederacy, fearing that a great victory would encourage the administration to emancipate slaves."
Perhaps Lincoln's compromise and gradualism meant he selected "cautious" generals rather than plunge an unprepared army into disaster as happened at Bull Run on July 21, 1861. Except for U.S.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Having not been educated in the US where veneration of Lincoln is widespread, Thomas Keneally's biography of the famed president is a breath of fresh air.
There seems little doubt that Lincoln was a man of enormous vision and courage. He took on the vested interests of slavery and ultimately prevented the dissolution of the Union. Furthermore, his untimely death lifted his status to that of a martyr. In this case, however, his martyrdom is well warranted.
Keneally's work is an excellent starting point for any reader seeking an introduction to Lincoln. This book is part of a larger series covering a host of international luminaries. Lincoln's place in this pantheon is well deserved. The book itself is wonderful read for those wishing to understand Lincoln's place in history.
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