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Long considered a classic, Benjamin P. Thomas's Abraham Lincoln: A Biography takes an incisive look at one of American history's greatest figures. Originally published in 1952 to wide acclaim, this eloquent account rises above previously romanticized depictions of the sixteenth president to reveal the real Lincoln: a complex, shrewd, and dynamic individual whose exceptiona Long considered a classic, Benjamin P. Thomas's Abraham Lincoln: A Biography takes an incisive look at one of American history's greatest figures. Originally published in 1952 to wide acclaim, this eloquent account rises above previously romanticized depictions of the sixteenth president to reveal the real Lincoln: a complex, shrewd, and dynamic individual whose exceptional life has long intrigued the public. Thomas traces the president from his hardscrabble beginnings and early political career, through his years as an Illinois lawyer and his presidency during the Civil War. Although Lincoln is appropriately placed against the backdrop of the dramatic times in which he lived, the author's true focus is on Lincoln the man and his intricate personality. While Thomas pays tribute to Lincoln's many virtues and accomplishments, he is careful not to dramatize a persona already larger than life in the American imagination. Instead he presents a candid and balanced representation that provides compelling insight into Lincoln's true character and the elements that forged him into an extraordinary leader. Thomas portrays Lincoln as a man whose conviction, resourcefulness, and inner strength enabled him to lead the nation through the most violent crossroads in its history. Thomas's direct, readable narrative is concise while losing none of the crucial details of Lincoln's remarkable life. The volume's clarity of style makes it accessible to beginners, but it is complex and nuanced enough to interest longtime Lincoln scholars. After more than half a century, Abraham Lincoln: A Biography is still an essential source for anyone interested in learning more about the many facets of the sixteenth president, and it remains the definitive single-volume work on the life of an American legend.  


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Long considered a classic, Benjamin P. Thomas's Abraham Lincoln: A Biography takes an incisive look at one of American history's greatest figures. Originally published in 1952 to wide acclaim, this eloquent account rises above previously romanticized depictions of the sixteenth president to reveal the real Lincoln: a complex, shrewd, and dynamic individual whose exceptiona Long considered a classic, Benjamin P. Thomas's Abraham Lincoln: A Biography takes an incisive look at one of American history's greatest figures. Originally published in 1952 to wide acclaim, this eloquent account rises above previously romanticized depictions of the sixteenth president to reveal the real Lincoln: a complex, shrewd, and dynamic individual whose exceptional life has long intrigued the public. Thomas traces the president from his hardscrabble beginnings and early political career, through his years as an Illinois lawyer and his presidency during the Civil War. Although Lincoln is appropriately placed against the backdrop of the dramatic times in which he lived, the author's true focus is on Lincoln the man and his intricate personality. While Thomas pays tribute to Lincoln's many virtues and accomplishments, he is careful not to dramatize a persona already larger than life in the American imagination. Instead he presents a candid and balanced representation that provides compelling insight into Lincoln's true character and the elements that forged him into an extraordinary leader. Thomas portrays Lincoln as a man whose conviction, resourcefulness, and inner strength enabled him to lead the nation through the most violent crossroads in its history. Thomas's direct, readable narrative is concise while losing none of the crucial details of Lincoln's remarkable life. The volume's clarity of style makes it accessible to beginners, but it is complex and nuanced enough to interest longtime Lincoln scholars. After more than half a century, Abraham Lincoln: A Biography is still an essential source for anyone interested in learning more about the many facets of the sixteenth president, and it remains the definitive single-volume work on the life of an American legend.  

30 review for Abraham Lincoln: A Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    http://bestpresidentialbios.com/2014/... “Abraham Lincoln” is Benjamin Thomas’s 1952 classic and may have been the best single volume biography until Stephen Oates’s “With Malice Toward None” was published in 1977. Thomas’s biography was the first comprehensive one volume analysis of Lincoln’s life since Lord Charnwood’s 1917 biography of Lincoln. Thomas was a history professor and executive secretary of the Abraham Lincoln Association in Springfield. The author of a half-dozen other books, Thoma http://bestpresidentialbios.com/2014/... “Abraham Lincoln” is Benjamin Thomas’s 1952 classic and may have been the best single volume biography until Stephen Oates’s “With Malice Toward None” was published in 1977. Thomas’s biography was the first comprehensive one volume analysis of Lincoln’s life since Lord Charnwood’s 1917 biography of Lincoln. Thomas was a history professor and executive secretary of the Abraham Lincoln Association in Springfield. The author of a half-dozen other books, Thomas took his own life in 1956 after receiving a cancer diagnosis. Oldest of the five Lincoln biographies I’ve read so far, Thomas’s “Abraham Lincoln” has aged well. At just over five-hundred pages in length, this is not a brief read but it proves to be an enjoyable and almost effortless experience. Happily, this biography lacks page-long paragraphs of dense, academic text and yet still creates an impression of intellectual rigor. Thomas seems to approach his task more as a storyteller than a historian. As a result, his writing style is unusually elegant, fluid, descriptive and engaging. Where another author might rush through the description of, for example, the dilapidated Illinois state capital building, Thomas lingers an extra moment in order to form a more vivid and lasting impression of the object in the reader’s mind. Relative to more recent biographies of Lincoln I’ve read, Thomas’s provides a far better comparison of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the North and the South as they headed to war. Coverage of Lincoln’s early life, while far from exhaustive, is among the clearest and easiest to follow of any Lincoln biography I’ve encountered. And Thomas’s description of Sherman’s heated march across the deep south, though too brief, was the most colorful and detailed of any account I’ve yet seen. The final chapter of this biography is largely (but by no means exclusively) dedicated to the author’s observations of Lincoln’s service as president, his evolution as a politician and a discussion of the qualities that made him a great, if flawed, individual. Similar observations were liberally scattered throughout the book, but nowhere did they appear as thoughtfully and forcefully as in the book’s last pages. But Thomas is at his very best when describing the people whose lives intersected with Abraham Lincoln. He wonderfully reveals each character’s unique personality, physical attributes, strengths, flaws, eccentricities and relationship with Lincoln in a way I’ve not seen before. This is not only true of Lincoln’s friends, business partners and early advisers but also his political adversaries, military advisers and, notably, his cabinet members. Through these almost three-dimensional portraits of notables moving in his orbit, Lincoln’s world seems to come to life. For all its strengths, Thomas’s biography is not perfect. Coverage of Lincoln’s own family, although adequate, is fairly limited and Mary Lincoln’s foibles are only sporadically evidenced. The Civil War years are nicely summarized for a reader lacking deep knowledge of the conflict, but the fractious politics which engulfed the nation’s capital during those years often seem deemphasized in favor of focus on the latest military travail. In addition, Thomas dives less deeply into the complex politics of slavery and the evolution of Lincoln’s views than other biographers. His analysis is competent but not masterful or probing. In a similar vein, Thomas is rarely as penetrating a political scientist as other authors and often fails to pursue issues as completely as he might. Discussion of Lincoln’s cabinet selection was far less substantive (and more oversimplified) than I would have liked, and the biography was less effective than most others in portraying events such as the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Republican convention and the presidential campaign of 1860. Overall, however, there is a great deal to like about Benjamin Thomas’s biography of Lincoln. Thomas is almost always able to smooth the rough edges of history and create an interesting, easily digested story without obfuscating history’s true course. Despite its age, this biography feels sprightly and light and is one of my favorite presidential biographies in the “50-and-over” category. Benjamin Thomas’s biography of our sixteenth president is undoubtedly an excellent choice for anyone seeking an engaging, informative, wonderfully vivid but still relatively thorough introduction to Lincoln’s life. Overall rating: 4¼ stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tracey Parks

    I love this book because I love this man! Abraham Lincoln is my hero. One of the first people I want to meet in heaven:)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    You have to be careful about Lincoln books because people’s opinions on Lincoln are very strong. Paleo-conservatives hate him and think he’s a liberal. Others want to cast him as a godless racist. I prefer to read “dry” histories of Lincoln that include a lot of his writings. I think a fairly good one is Abraham Lincoln by Benjamin Thomas. It gives a detailed history from the lives of his parents to his death and is written at a high school level.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    This work by Benjamin Thomas is considered by many historians to be the finest one-volume on Lincoln ever written and for good reason. Never has a biography stirred my imagination and emotions as this one. Published in 1952, this biography on Abraham Lincoln was far enough removed from Lincoln's death to not be a hagiography and far enough ahead of our secular, politically correct culture to not be tainted with its cynicism and bias. In short, you learn about Lincoln as an ambitious yet somewhat This work by Benjamin Thomas is considered by many historians to be the finest one-volume on Lincoln ever written and for good reason. Never has a biography stirred my imagination and emotions as this one. Published in 1952, this biography on Abraham Lincoln was far enough removed from Lincoln's death to not be a hagiography and far enough ahead of our secular, politically correct culture to not be tainted with its cynicism and bias. In short, you learn about Lincoln as an ambitious yet somewhat immature young man seeking first to become a lawyer and then a politician; you learn about a man who grew in knowledge, wisdom and character, not because he was special, but because he was humble. Lincoln always seemed to focus on what was right, not what massaged his ego or boosted his personal interest. Thomas allows the facts to speak for themselves while also recognizing who Lincoln was as a man, as a leader, as the President. He doesn't gloss his record over with the glaze of legend, but allows Lincoln's record to shine itself. In describing Lincoln's persuasive ability, Thomas states that Lincoln "appealed to reason rather than emotion, while remembering that the mind is best reached through the heart." That could very well describe what Thomas accomplished in this biography - an objective account of Lincoln's life that stirs the heart while informing the mind.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sofie Hern

    Abraham Lincoln is perhaps the only person in history I am obsessed with. I find him intriguing and fascinating. I have read quote a few of his biographies and this one did not disappoint.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tom Stamper

    A classic biography every bit as good as it's reputation, Thomas approaches the subject with the desire to illuminate rather than explain it. He does this with such smooth simple prose that the reader glides through chapters. As biography writing, this book is also an example of restraint. When a big event like Gettysburg occurs Thomas doesn't shift gears into the role of historian to write 20 pages on this most crucial battle. I'm glad of that. I grow weary of the bloated 900 page biographies t A classic biography every bit as good as it's reputation, Thomas approaches the subject with the desire to illuminate rather than explain it. He does this with such smooth simple prose that the reader glides through chapters. As biography writing, this book is also an example of restraint. When a big event like Gettysburg occurs Thomas doesn't shift gears into the role of historian to write 20 pages on this most crucial battle. I'm glad of that. I grow weary of the bloated 900 page biographies that describe every cup of coffee. Thomas assumes the reader knows Gettysburg or can go in depth elsewhere. His job is Lincoln. Benjamin Thomas made me realize how much of my Lincoln knowledge was built on John Ford's myth-making film, Young Mr. Lincoln. Sure Lincoln used the Farmer's Almanac to prove the brightness of the moon, but the pivotal trial in the film was otherwise historical composite and fiction. Ford also builds up Lincoln's first love Anne Rutledge in the film. Thomas explains that any such romance was speculative at best and more than likely non-existent. The book also helps one appreciate Steven Spielberg's Lincoln film. While nearly every conversation of that film is likely fiction those moments are very true to Lincoln's character and personality. Daniel Day-Lewis captures the raconteur Lincoln. Secretary of War Stanton makes a joke of Lincoln going into story mode and it humanizes both characters. But whereas the plot of the Ford film reveals the greatness of Young Lincoln if there was any greatness that early, the plot of the Spielberg film is largely a distraction. It's just the kind of tangential narrative that litters so many written biographies. I want the quiet moments in the Spielberg film and that's the equivalent what this author does in this book. I think the circumstances around the Civil War breed so many alternate histories because a number of important moments have elements of chance. The accidental skirmish that led to the battle at Gettysburg or Stonewall Jackson being shot by his own men come readily to mind. Then you have Lincoln's assassination. Had it happened in Baltimore before the inauguration then the war could have gone in any number of directions. Had Booth failed post-war America would have been different. It may not have been the Marshall Plan, but reconstruction under Lincoln would have been far less confrontational and whether that would have been good or bad for the country is difficult to say. Would regional tensions have been better or worse and what would regional tensions look like today as a result. How many terms would a healthy Lincoln have served? Maybe he would have given way for Grant in 1868 or maybe the work of reconciliation would have demanded he stay on. Having just finished Michael Korda's excellent biography of Robert E. Lee I couldn't have picked a better book to follow up. Had Lincoln instead faced any kind of external war he would have had Lee as his leading general. They would have been Roosevelt and Eisenhower. But it also made me realize that without a conflict the two men could have very easily became obscurities. Circumstances demand that talent rise and the test of that decides greatness. Pre-war odds makers wouldn't have given Lincoln or Lee or Grant a snowball's chance at greatness, but they would have bet George McClellan down to under even money after the war began. William Seward or even Stephen Douglas would have fared better in 1860. And maybe that's why historians rank Lincoln even higher than George Washington. He's the underdog that overcame so many personal obstacles to find greatness. The genius of Thomas's biography is that he gives you the story and the reader can't help wondering how all of those pieces arranged differently would look. It helped me engage with the material in a way that will ensure I better retain the knowledge I gleaned here. I will forever see and think of Lincoln differently in both fiction and nonfiction because of this book. In short, it's foundational and I wish I had bothered to read it 20 years ago. I should also say that I chose this book for it's reputation as quality writing. Had I sought out a Lincoln book that the consensus believed definitive I am just as likely to have stopped reading it altogether. I have this copy of Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton biography. I have owned it for more than ten years. I gave it around 100 pages with a bookmark and promised to return. The book was good, but it didn't grip me the same way. The Hamilton in my head is still stuck in the West Indies and there is a gap in my knowledge that lasts until Hamilton turns up in Washington's cabinet as the villain opposite Paul Giamati's John Adams courtesy of HBO. I didn't want to leave Lincoln in some log cabin carrying borrowed Shakespeare through the snow. Thanks to Thomas I took him all the way to Ford's Theater and thus let him belong to the ages.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Canfield

    This biography by Benjamin P. Thomas is one of the finest single volume works on Abraham Lincoln's life that lovers of history will ever read. While the Rail Splitter has had no shortage of books written about his life, this version strikes just the right balance between the personal and political aspects of President Lincoln. Readers are informed of his early years in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois and the manner in which these shaped the values he held throughout his trying years as president. This biography by Benjamin P. Thomas is one of the finest single volume works on Abraham Lincoln's life that lovers of history will ever read. While the Rail Splitter has had no shortage of books written about his life, this version strikes just the right balance between the personal and political aspects of President Lincoln. Readers are informed of his early years in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois and the manner in which these shaped the values he held throughout his trying years as president. His rise from owner of a small store in Illinois to a well-regarded prairie lawyer is written with sufficient detail. Lincoln's single two-year term in the U.S. Congress and time in the Illinois legislature are recorded as a period where he developed a respect for compromise which, when combined with the relentless sense of logic he gained from practicing law, made him a leader well-equipped to deal with a country in crisis in 1861. The biography's strength rests on its compulsive readability and willingness to give a balanced portrait of the sixteenth president. While the author ultimately produces a portrait of a moral man who performed his duty as he saw fit, the book is not full of uncritical praise for Lincoln. His hesitancy to go as far as many abolitionists and Radical Republicans wanted is not overlooked, but neither is it put forward in a way which diminishes Lincoln's presence in the pantheon of great American statesman. Instead it is shown within the context of his astute political instincts, and the promises from his First Inaugural to not touch slavery where it currently existed-while falling short of what a modern day reader would want to hear-is interpreted within the contemporary mid-nineteenth century notions of what was possible and Lincoln's hope that taking the long view and practicing moderation were the wisest courses of action open to him. His interactions with men like McClellan and Grant, though presented in only an abbreviated format in order to keep the biography limited to one volume, are presented in a succinct but informative manner. The relationship with members of his Cabinet who were often full of an inflated sense of self-men like Stanton, Chase, and Sumner-was often a balancing act second only to seeing the Civil War through to a victorious conclusion. Lincoln's willingness to not give in to vengefulness and to practice conciliation as much as possible are made clear as each page is turned. Maintaining this approach appears monstrously difficult in the face of the South's obstinance and the difficulty of threading the needle of Northern public opinion. Lincoln's anguish during his time in the White House, from the death of his young son Willie to constant stream of bad news from the battlefields early on in the war, help complete the private/public portrait Thomas so brilliantly composes. While he does not heap constant praise on the Great Emancipator, instead choosing to let the facts speaks for themselves, Thomas does depart from this toward the end of Abraham Lincoln. "He had appealed to reason rather than emotion, while remembering that the mind is best reached through the heart," he notes in summing up his take on Lincoln near the conclusion of his book. Thomas continued with his assessment of the man: "So deft had been Lincoln's leadership that people often failed to recognize it. Few persons thought him great. His strength was flexible, like fine-spun wire, sensitive to every need and pressure, yielding but never breaking. Forced to adopt hard measures, he had tempered them with clemency. He exercised stern powers leniently, with regard for personal feelings and respect for human rights. Some had thought him weak because he did not ram things through; others though him dull and obstinate because they could not move him. Essentially he had embodied the easygoing, sentimental, kindly spirit of America, which revolts at extreme measures but moves steadily, sometimes haltingly, toward lofty goals." This work on Lincoln's life is a must-read for anyone seeking a well rounded accounting of Lincoln's life and accomplishments. Benjamin P. Thomas has put together a historical work of top notch quality, and the time invested in reading it will not result in disappointment. -Andrew Canfield Denver, Colorado

  8. 4 out of 5

    George

    This biography of Lincoln by Benjamin P. Thomas, really has stood the test of time. Lincoln, like Washington, is a hard president to write about because he has become so mythologized. Being raised in America when one is taught about Lincoln it seemed he was destined for greatness from the start. Thomas does a good job of putting that mythologized view of Lincoln to rest, while still portraying Lincoln as a heroic man who was the only one suited for the difficult task that he had and the accompli This biography of Lincoln by Benjamin P. Thomas, really has stood the test of time. Lincoln, like Washington, is a hard president to write about because he has become so mythologized. Being raised in America when one is taught about Lincoln it seemed he was destined for greatness from the start. Thomas does a good job of putting that mythologized view of Lincoln to rest, while still portraying Lincoln as a heroic man who was the only one suited for the difficult task that he had and the accomplishments that he produced. Thomas does a good job of balancing sources in this book. While this book is old as historical biographies are concerned, being written in 1952, Thomas still did amazing research and drew from lots of different sources in order to paint a picture of Lincoln's life and personality. Thomas is also a very gifted writer. I was able to finish this book in five days, chiefly because of this fact. He is able to tell historical events like a story and make the reader care about the names and places being mentioned even if they are foreign or new. I have read or ingested a fair amount of material about the American Civil War so not all of the information that was used here was new to me, but the stuff that was new really helped me to change my opinion or see Lincoln through a less tinted lens. For example, I have heard of the Douglas-Lincoln debates, but always came away with the impression that Lincoln won them. This was not the case if we are to use the election as a barometer. Lincoln was defeated. He was actually defeated many times. I also learned that Lincoln was not the first choice for the Republican convention in 1860 and was chosen mainly due to his ability to carry Illinois and other crucial western states. Not that he wasn't worthy, but he just wasn't the national name that we suppose he was. This helped to paint a picture of Lincoln as a man committed to the ideals of the founding while not always being the most popular person. But that is exactly who was needed at the time. My only criticism of this book is that while it isn't an out and out hagiography like many other works on Lincoln. It still didn't deal with the possible negatives that came from his presidency. His suspension of habeus corpus is mentioned briefly, but the criticisms are brushed off. Thomas did give Lincoln's opponents page time, but usually didn't do much to substantiate their critiques. Even if Lincoln was right in his actions it is important to see the whole of his effect and not just the positives. If you want to read a book on Lincoln that is accurate and well written (not to mention consistently praised for almost 70 years) then this is the book to grab. It is probably mainly available in libraries these days, but it is good. Also, make sure that your book has the pages in order, because if it doesn't...it makes it way harder to read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Calzean

    The first half of the book traces Lincoln's life as a child, farmer, general labourer, lawyer, politician, husband and father. The second half covers his Presidency and the Civil War. I found this to be easy to read but the second half covers a lot of the Civil War and took my attention away from the man and more onto the events. By the end of the book I did not have a better feel for Lincoln the man. The first half of the book traces Lincoln's life as a child, farmer, general labourer, lawyer, politician, husband and father. The second half covers his Presidency and the Civil War. I found this to be easy to read but the second half covers a lot of the Civil War and took my attention away from the man and more onto the events. By the end of the book I did not have a better feel for Lincoln the man.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Austyn Sutton

    This is one of the best biographies that I have ever read. It is a well written and well thought out book. I did not know much about President Lincoln, other than what is known by most, and now I feel as if I knew him well enough to call him a close friend. I can not recommend this book enough to anyone interested.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    A long, comprehensive study of Lincoln’s life. Generally praising of Lincoln, it presents a balanced argument in several episodes of his life.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    One of the best, most clear set of reasons and reflections I’ve ever read. Everything he writes is brilliant.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ivelina Atanasova

    When he was seven years old, his family was forced out of their home and off their farm. Like other boys his age, he was expected to help support the family. When he was nine, his mother died. At the age of 22, the company he worked for went bankrupt and he lost his job. At 23, he ran for state legislature in a field of 13 candidates. He came in 8th. At 24, he borrowed money to start a business with a friend. By the end of the year, the business failed. The local sheriff seized his possessions to pa When he was seven years old, his family was forced out of their home and off their farm. Like other boys his age, he was expected to help support the family. When he was nine, his mother died. At the age of 22, the company he worked for went bankrupt and he lost his job. At 23, he ran for state legislature in a field of 13 candidates. He came in 8th. At 24, he borrowed money to start a business with a friend. By the end of the year, the business failed. The local sheriff seized his possessions to pay off his debt. His partner soon died, penniless, and he assumed his partner’s share of debt as well. He spent the next several years of his life paying it off. At 25, he ran for state legislature again. This time he won. At 26, he was engaged to be married. But his fiancée died before the wedding. The next year he plunged into a depression and suffered a nervous breakdown. At 29, he sought to become the speaker of the state legislature. He was defeated. At 34, he campaigned for a U.S. congressional seat, representing his district. He lost. At 35, he ran for Congress again. This time he won. He went to Washington and did a good job. At 39, when his term ended, he was out of job again. There was a one-term- limit rule in his party. At 40, he tried to get a job as a commissioner of the General Land Office. He was rejected. At 45, he campaigned for the U.S. Senate, representing his state. He lost by six electoral votes. At 47, he was one of the contenders for the vice-presidential nomination at his party’s national convention. He lost. Two years later, at the age of 51, after a lifetime of failure, disappointment and loss (and still relatively unknown outside of his home state of Illinois), Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States. Despite being elected to a second term, he served only four years in office before meeting his final defeat at the hands of an assassin, in April 1865. But during those short four years, President Lincoln successfully led the country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, presented the Union, ended slavery, and rededicated the nation of the ideals of equality, liberty and democracy. So the next time you think about quitting because you have already tried and failed, ask yourself this: How different would the world be if Abraham Lincoln had stopped trying after his first defeat… or his fifth… or his tenth?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rifkee

    It's tough for normal people to deal with Civil War in his own country. The U.S. might be fragmented if he was not a president at that time. Abolish slavery was destroyed by this intelligent and awesome guy named " Abraham Lincoln". The book of Benjamin Platt Thomas titled " Abraham Lincoln" describes about life and mission of specific person . The book was written to attract the readers to continue reading until the end. The writer uses explanation as a dialogue which is realistic and experienc It's tough for normal people to deal with Civil War in his own country. The U.S. might be fragmented if he was not a president at that time. Abolish slavery was destroyed by this intelligent and awesome guy named " Abraham Lincoln". The book of Benjamin Platt Thomas titled " Abraham Lincoln" describes about life and mission of specific person . The book was written to attract the readers to continue reading until the end. The writer uses explanation as a dialogue which is realistic and experiencable. For instance, Lincoln's life was always miserable and tough with the death of his mother and his two sons. He ran unsuccessfully many times in politics. His flair and talent of oration in front of thousands and thousands of citizens could raise him up popularly. The light was shining when he was debating with against Stephen Douglas about slavery and rights. Moreover, with his knowledge and consciousness, he was leading the U.S. through one of the biggest problem which was Civil War. Many states were trying to make secession led by South Carolina.After that, he was able to reunion states in the country and solve and fundamental many radicals such as, abolish of slavery, taxes, railroads, and currency. Sadly, he was assassinated by John Wikes Boothand ending his life with the huge and powerful honor especially in Illinois. There are also three elements of this book which are life is not always beautiful, consciousness and knowledge are important for solving any problems, and leadership is the best element for the president. The idea of this book is life is always fulfilled with bad and good things at the same time.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Selina

    This is not a book for the faint hearted. It is a story that tells of Abraham Lincoln from birth to death with no stone left uncovered. I am glad I have it under my reading belt, it was full of extreemly intersting facts and absolute foreshadowing of his future. I found he was a bit of an undisisive man who, at times, was at the mercy of his generals and congress - but he was the great president who saved the Union, but by unimaginable loss. I believe he knew what would be lost and wanted to avo This is not a book for the faint hearted. It is a story that tells of Abraham Lincoln from birth to death with no stone left uncovered. I am glad I have it under my reading belt, it was full of extreemly intersting facts and absolute foreshadowing of his future. I found he was a bit of an undisisive man who, at times, was at the mercy of his generals and congress - but he was the great president who saved the Union, but by unimaginable loss. I believe he knew what would be lost and wanted to avoid war at all costs, but was left no other choice.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lacey

    This is a wonderful book if you want to know about Abraham Lincoln, his presidency and the war. I feel even more grateful to him for all he did and went through to keep our country one nation! He was kind and compassionate and he was a good man. He made mistakes, but he tried to do the best he could and he tried to do what was right. I'm so glad I read this and especially at this time just before the anniversary of his birthday and President's Day where we remember and honor him. Thank you Presi This is a wonderful book if you want to know about Abraham Lincoln, his presidency and the war. I feel even more grateful to him for all he did and went through to keep our country one nation! He was kind and compassionate and he was a good man. He made mistakes, but he tried to do the best he could and he tried to do what was right. I'm so glad I read this and especially at this time just before the anniversary of his birthday and President's Day where we remember and honor him. Thank you President Lincoln!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Thomas wrote this book in 52, and sometimes it sounds a little old-fashioned, but it's very readable and I'm learning a lot about someone who has long fascinated me. It's actually a selection for a book group we're in, and one of our members made inquiries to find a good Lincoln biography. Next, I'm onto Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," and then the Garry Wills book about the Gettysburg address. Thomas wrote this book in 52, and sometimes it sounds a little old-fashioned, but it's very readable and I'm learning a lot about someone who has long fascinated me. It's actually a selection for a book group we're in, and one of our members made inquiries to find a good Lincoln biography. Next, I'm onto Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," and then the Garry Wills book about the Gettysburg address.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ronald

    Best one volume biography on Lincoln among legions of competitors. Elegant and fluid writing. His conclusions match the reliable evidence. No hype, no hyperbole, no far-out claims based on scanty evidence. Just solid history and biography. Professor Gates of Harvard could learn a thing or two from this kind of research and writing.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rasheil Stanger

    Great book, sometimes the author writes too too much detail for me that seem unecessary, but licoln was an amazing man and this proves it. His characters was deep, and confusing and at times he seems at war with himself. But remains true to his core beliefs.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brad Hart

    Not a bad book. I am actually getting ready to read Burlingame's 2 volume set on Lincoln entitles, "Abraham Lincoln: A Life." Most Lincoln scholars say it's the best bio on Lincoln ever done. This book, however, falls a little flat. Not a bad book. I am actually getting ready to read Burlingame's 2 volume set on Lincoln entitles, "Abraham Lincoln: A Life." Most Lincoln scholars say it's the best bio on Lincoln ever done. This book, however, falls a little flat.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bakul

    The book revealed the political motivation of Lincoln as well as the context. I hoped to get a perspectctive of the Lincoln as a moral philosopher. It seemed to me that the book did not not cover that aspect well.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chet

    A straightforward summary of Lincoln's life. I was particularly interested in one part of Lincoln's life (right before his election) and a chapter in this book covered that part well. A few other places in the book (the war battles) were not written as clearly. A straightforward summary of Lincoln's life. I was particularly interested in one part of Lincoln's life (right before his election) and a chapter in this book covered that part well. A few other places in the book (the war battles) were not written as clearly.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I got this at a debate tournament as an award... And read about the first 20 pages. It seemed pretty interesting but mostly it collects dust.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    An older biography, but well written and insightful

  25. 5 out of 5

    Loren

    I don't normally read biographies, but I had a hard setting this one down... I don't normally read biographies, but I had a hard setting this one down...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Graney

    A bio that hits all the highlights.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Candace

    Good Book

  28. 4 out of 5

    Luz Paucar

    The life of Abraham lincon inspires me to don't give up on my dreams. The life of Abraham lincon inspires me to don't give up on my dreams.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Evan Brandt

    A little uninspired, but a good foundation for future reading.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Boomerang64

    This book was totally engaging -- I actually found myself crying at one point in the book. Fabulous biography.

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