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A brilliant and novel examination of how Abraham Lincoln mastered the art of leadership “Gerhardt has devised an ingenious solution for demystifying America’s most enigmatic president: examining the key people who influenced Lincoln as he developed his own unique skills and leadership style.” –Russell L. Riley, UVA’s Miller Center In 1849, when Abraham Lincoln returned to Sp A brilliant and novel examination of how Abraham Lincoln mastered the art of leadership “Gerhardt has devised an ingenious solution for demystifying America’s most enigmatic president: examining the key people who influenced Lincoln as he developed his own unique skills and leadership style.” –Russell L. Riley, UVA’s Miller Center In 1849, when Abraham Lincoln returned to Springfield, Illinois, after two seemingly uninspiring years in the U.S. House of Representatives, his political career appeared all but finished. His sense of failure was so great that friends worried about his sanity. Yet within a decade, Lincoln would reenter politics, become a leader of the Republican Party, win the 1860 presidential election, and keep America together during its most perilous period. What accounted for the turnaround? As Michael J. Gerhardt reveals, Lincoln’s reemergence followed the same path he had taken before, in which he read voraciously and learned from the successes, failures, oratory, and political maneuvering of a surprisingly diverse handful of men, some of whom he had never met but others of whom he knew intimately—Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, John Todd Stuart, and Orville Browning. From their experiences and his own, Lincoln learned valuable lessons on leadership, mastering party politics, campaigning, conventions, understanding and using executive power, managing a cabinet, speechwriting and oratory, and—what would become his most enduring legacy—developing policies and rhetoric to match a constitutional vision that spoke to the monumental challenges of his time. Without these mentors, Abraham Lincoln would likely have remained a small-town lawyer—and without Lincoln, the United States as we know it may not have survived. This book tells the unique story of how Lincoln emerged from obscurity and learned how to lead.  


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A brilliant and novel examination of how Abraham Lincoln mastered the art of leadership “Gerhardt has devised an ingenious solution for demystifying America’s most enigmatic president: examining the key people who influenced Lincoln as he developed his own unique skills and leadership style.” –Russell L. Riley, UVA’s Miller Center In 1849, when Abraham Lincoln returned to Sp A brilliant and novel examination of how Abraham Lincoln mastered the art of leadership “Gerhardt has devised an ingenious solution for demystifying America’s most enigmatic president: examining the key people who influenced Lincoln as he developed his own unique skills and leadership style.” –Russell L. Riley, UVA’s Miller Center In 1849, when Abraham Lincoln returned to Springfield, Illinois, after two seemingly uninspiring years in the U.S. House of Representatives, his political career appeared all but finished. His sense of failure was so great that friends worried about his sanity. Yet within a decade, Lincoln would reenter politics, become a leader of the Republican Party, win the 1860 presidential election, and keep America together during its most perilous period. What accounted for the turnaround? As Michael J. Gerhardt reveals, Lincoln’s reemergence followed the same path he had taken before, in which he read voraciously and learned from the successes, failures, oratory, and political maneuvering of a surprisingly diverse handful of men, some of whom he had never met but others of whom he knew intimately—Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, John Todd Stuart, and Orville Browning. From their experiences and his own, Lincoln learned valuable lessons on leadership, mastering party politics, campaigning, conventions, understanding and using executive power, managing a cabinet, speechwriting and oratory, and—what would become his most enduring legacy—developing policies and rhetoric to match a constitutional vision that spoke to the monumental challenges of his time. Without these mentors, Abraham Lincoln would likely have remained a small-town lawyer—and without Lincoln, the United States as we know it may not have survived. This book tells the unique story of how Lincoln emerged from obscurity and learned how to lead.  

59 review for Lincoln's Mentors: The Education of a Leader

  1. 4 out of 5

    Miriam

    I'm always interested in learning something new about a President, particularly the most famous and influential ones. This study of Lincoln focuses on his education "as a leader," meaning those who influenced Lincoln, the men and politicians he associated with and knew, and the books he read. But the book goes much further than that. Gerhardt sets Lincoln into history, into the political and historical events of his day, examining not only what Lincoln lived through but also how the events affec I'm always interested in learning something new about a President, particularly the most famous and influential ones. This study of Lincoln focuses on his education "as a leader," meaning those who influenced Lincoln, the men and politicians he associated with and knew, and the books he read. But the book goes much further than that. Gerhardt sets Lincoln into history, into the political and historical events of his day, examining not only what Lincoln lived through but also how the events affected the man. If you are looking for a popular history of Lincoln, this is not the book for you. It's really a legal and constitutional history, a study of the politics and political changes and arguments that pervade the US from the early 1820s through Lincoln's assassination. Nevertheless, it's an interesting approach to Lincoln and his times. Beginning in the early 1830s, Gerhardt revisits the Missouri Compromise, the Indian Removal Acts of President Andrew Jackson, the Mexican American War, and Bloody Kansas. Slaves, Native Americans, immigrants, westward migration, and all the politics that surround these issues and events are fodder for this history book. It's a little dense in spots with minimal end-notes. Thanks to the BookLoft of German Village (Columbus, OH) http://www.bookloft.com for an ARC to read and review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chris Carson

    A terrific read and one of the best in the many written about the greatest President in US history. Storytelling, when done well, pulls you in and makes you feel as if you were alongside of the main characters. Lincoln and his mentors are brought to life in Gerhardt’s terrific story. Thank you!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    Although there might be a couple dates, a bit awry, the book is well written and explains a lot about Lincoln that we either were not taught, or just didn't pay attention too. His mentors, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and Zachary Taylor embedded in Lincoln many ideas that he not only picked up on, but made into his own as he progressed through the political game and eventually saved the Union. I found it interesting that he thought the world of Jackson; but I also found it interesting that when J Although there might be a couple dates, a bit awry, the book is well written and explains a lot about Lincoln that we either were not taught, or just didn't pay attention too. His mentors, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and Zachary Taylor embedded in Lincoln many ideas that he not only picked up on, but made into his own as he progressed through the political game and eventually saved the Union. I found it interesting that he thought the world of Jackson; but I also found it interesting that when Jackson lost his first bid for the presidency, he whined, cried, claimed foul, claimed it was stolen from him; sounds like someone else we know, doesn't it. Also, like our former CIC, Lincoln had a big picture of Jackson staring down at him so that whenever he signed legislation, "he felt Jackson's eyes staring down at him." He was as much a devotee of Henry Clay and the defunct Whig party (Lincoln was a member before republicans came on scene. And he picked up much on the president's actions from Zachary Taylor. As for being the great emancipator, some may be disappointed. He was originally for sending slaves back to Africa, or elsewhere. He was not a proslavery person, but he was more interested in saving the Union. Frederick Douglass was very critical of Lincoln until January 1863 when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. It's really a good book; plenty of detail, but at less than 450 pages not overly burdensome detail. I highly recommend it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda Bond

    Leaders don’t just pop up out of nowhere and assume the power of office. This is the story of Abraham Lincoln’s rise, and drop and rise again experience on his way to the Whitehouse. Turns out, after his apparent political demise early on in his life, he gave himself a renewing boost as he continued to read about people who came before, like Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay. As he learned about their experiences and coupled what he learned with his own wins and failures, he soon took on the charact Leaders don’t just pop up out of nowhere and assume the power of office. This is the story of Abraham Lincoln’s rise, and drop and rise again experience on his way to the Whitehouse. Turns out, after his apparent political demise early on in his life, he gave himself a renewing boost as he continued to read about people who came before, like Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay. As he learned about their experiences and coupled what he learned with his own wins and failures, he soon took on the character of a true leader. And the rest, they say, is history! This is an eye-opening revelation of what it takes to move into the winner’s circle. History buffs, political/social movers and business entrepreneurs will all find something of interest in these pages. I met this book at Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane, WA

  5. 4 out of 5

    Judy Santos

    Great job author, I really like your writing style. I suggest you join NovelStar’s writing competition this April. If you are interested kindly check this link https://www.facebook.com/104455574751... for the mechanics of the writing contest this April and also, I am sharing your book in Facebook to help reach readers. Thank you Great job author, I really like your writing style. I suggest you join NovelStar’s writing competition this April. If you are interested kindly check this link https://www.facebook.com/104455574751... for the mechanics of the writing contest this April and also, I am sharing your book in Facebook to help reach readers. Thank you

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Very well written with a heavy focus on WHO influenced Lincoln most. The book focuses on Lincoln as a man of his time. And, how he incorporated the policies, attributes and personae of Jackson, Taylor and Clay into his presidency. I could think of better biographies on Lincoln, but this one is still worth the read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sheila McCarthy

    Terrible! No wonder America's children know so little. The distinguished author thinks that Lincoln was born on February 9, that you will find Fort Henry in Baltimore and that the Battle of Fredericksburg happened in December of 1861. So poorly edited that I am questioning of the Civil War ended in April of 1865. Don't waste your time! Terrible! No wonder America's children know so little. The distinguished author thinks that Lincoln was born on February 9, that you will find Fort Henry in Baltimore and that the Battle of Fredericksburg happened in December of 1861. So poorly edited that I am questioning of the Civil War ended in April of 1865. Don't waste your time!

  8. 5 out of 5

    David

    I've read a number of Lincoln biographies, but don't know that I've enjoyed one as much as Lincoln's Mentors. Gerhardt's approach in showing those whose actions and advice helped educate and prepare Lincoln for handling what was arguably the toughest circumstances of a presidency was brilliant, profound, and entertaining. James Lurie's narration is exquisite. Highly recommended. I've read a number of Lincoln biographies, but don't know that I've enjoyed one as much as Lincoln's Mentors. Gerhardt's approach in showing those whose actions and advice helped educate and prepare Lincoln for handling what was arguably the toughest circumstances of a presidency was brilliant, profound, and entertaining. James Lurie's narration is exquisite. Highly recommended.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bob Stenberg

    I am glad that I read this book but it was a little too dtailed in some places.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

    I am unable to write a review because I have not received this book that I won. As soon as I do receive it I will write a review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Drew Clancy

    Solid Lincoln biography. Interesting insights into Lincoln's personality and his admiration for Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, and Zachary Taylor Solid Lincoln biography. Interesting insights into Lincoln's personality and his admiration for Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, and Zachary Taylor

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laurel

    Very interesting! Really enjoyed the chapter on Becoming President.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Christiansen

    A generally solid biography of Lincoln.

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    John Schneider

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