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Everyone wants to define the man who signed his name “A. Lincoln.” In his lifetime and ever since, friend and foe have taken it upon themselves to characterize Lincoln according to their own label or libel. In this magnificent book, Ronald C. White, Jr., offers a fresh and compelling definition of Lincoln as a man of integrity — what today’s commentators would call “authenticity” — whose moral compass holds the key to understanding his life.
Through meticulous research of the newly completed Lincoln Legal Papers, as well as of recently discovered letters and photographs, White provides a portrait of Lincoln’s personal, political, and moral evolution. White shows us Lincoln as a man who would leave a trail of thoughts in his wake, jotting ideas on scraps of paper and filing them in his top hat or the bottom drawer of his desk; a country lawyer who asked questions in order to figure out his own thinking on an issue, as much as to argue the case; a hands-on commander in chief who, as soldiers and sailors watched in amazement, commandeered a boat and ordered an attack on Confederate shore batteries at the tip of the Virginia peninsula; a man who struggled with the immorality of slavery and as president acted publicly and privately to outlaw it forever; and finally, a president involved in a religious odyssey who wrote, for his own eyes only, a profound meditation on “the will of God” in the Civil War that would become the basis of his finest address.
Most enlightening, the Abraham Lincoln who comes into focus in this stellar narrative is a person of intellectual curiosity, comfortable with ambiguity, unafraid to “think anew and act anew.”
A transcendent, sweeping, passionately written biography that greatly expands our knowledge and understanding of its subject, A. Lincoln will engage a whole new generation of Americans. It is poised to shed a profound light on our greatest president just as America commemorates the bicentennial of his birth.
- Published: January 2009
- Pages: 816
- Paperback Published: May 2010
About the Author
by Toni - reviewed on December 22, 2010
This is the first book I have read about Abraham Lincoln. However, the facts contained in this volume are nothing I've ever been taught in school. I can see in my minds eye, as I read, the actions "Honest Abe" took as he throws a man who was fist-fighting with one of his friends out of the audience and "threw him 6 feet". Amazing. Insightful comments are included about what others in Mr. Lincoln's time said about him. it's a very knowledgeable and enlightening book. I find myself wanting to become more like him as I get more acquainted with his comments and the way he approached challenges. His greatest desire to be "worthy of the esteem of others" caught me by surprise. I don't much care what other people think, but to be "worthy" of their esteem, this is commendable and a worthy challenge for any one of us. I love this book and it will become a cherished and valuable part of my personal and family library. A wonderful book I would love all my kids to have access to. Highly recommended!
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