Abraham Lincoln (Penguin Lives)

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9780670031757: Abraham Lincoln (Penguin Lives)

This self-made man from a log cabin-the great orator, the Emancipator, the savior of the Union, the martyr-was arguably our greatest president; but it takes a master storyteller like Thomas Keneally, author of the award-winning novel that inspired the film Schindler's List, to bring alive the history behind the myth. Acclaimed for his recent Civil War biography, American Scoundrel, Keneally delves with relish-and a keen, fresh eye-into Lincoln's complicated persona.

Abraham Lincoln depicts all the amazing man's triumphs, insecurities, and crushing defeats with uncanny insight: his early poverty and the ambition that propelled him out of it; the shaping of the man and his political philosophy by youthful exposure to Christianity, slavery, and business; his tempestuous marriage and his fatherly love. We see him, elected to the presidency by a twist of fate, unswerving in the grim day-to-day conduct of the war as his vision and acumen led the country forward. Abraham Lincoln is an incisive study of a turning point in our history and a revealing portrait of its pivotal figure, his greatness etched even more clearly in this very touching human story.

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About the Author:

Thomas Keneally has won international acclaim for his novels Schindler's Ark, Confederates, Gossip from the Forest, Playmaker, Woman of the Inner Sea, and A River Town. He is most recently the author of the biography American Scoundrel: The Life of the Notorious Civil War General Dan Sickles.

From Library Journal:

Abraham Lincoln was several times accused of "spirit-rapping," whereby he called on the dead to speak. Novelist and biographer Keneally has worked just such magic in his eloquent and insightful brief biography of America's most complicated subject. Like Lincoln, Keneally tells a good story, finding the right anecdote to make his case and never forgetting the moral of the tale. Keneally's Lincoln is a self-actuated farm boy made good by self-discipline, savvy instincts, wit, the wisdom acquired from courtrooms, friendships, and political huckstering-and luck. He is an individual of principle committed to promoting the self-made man through government support for economic improvements and opening a West free of slavery. Keneally recounts Lincoln's early missteps in romance, business, and politics and his self-doubts and depression as his star dimmed several times, and he concedes Lincoln's erratic course toward emancipation and a successful strategy for Union victory during the Civil War. But in the end, Keneally's Lincoln emerges almost as a "father Abraham" anointed for his great role in leading a chosen people toward redemption and their rendezvous with destiny. This is an epic compressed into a tightly written biography that all Americans might read with profit. Keneally's occasional tendency to let folklore stand as fact notwithstanding, there is no better brief introduction to Lincoln and his American dream. For all libraries.
Randall M. Miller, Saint Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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