The Life of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln "was a tall, spare man, with large bones, and towering up to six feet and four inches. He leaned forward, and stooped as he walked. . . . There was no grace in his movements, but an expression of awkwardness, combined with°force and vigor. By nature he was diffident, and when in crowds, not speaking and conscious of being observed, he seemed to shrink with bashfulness. . . . His forehead was broad and high, his hair was rather stiff and coarse, and nearly black, his eye-brows heavy, his eyes dark grey, clear, very expressive, and varying with every mood, now sparkling with humor and fun, then flashing with wit; stern with indignation at wrong and injustice, then kind and genial, and then again dreamy and melancholy."
Isaac N. Arnold's word picture owes everything to personal observation because he knew Abraham Lincoln well for a quarter of a century. Eventually an adviser to the sixteenth president, Arnold attended his inaugurations, heard his great speeches, visited him at the White House, and on a spring day in 1865 joined the procession that carried his slain body there. Twenty years later he published his biography giving a detailed sense of Lincoln the entertaining storyteller, the shrewd politician, the steadfast visionary.
Here is the story of Lincoln's rise from humble origins to the presidency, backgrounded by events leading inexorably to the Civil War. Boyhood in Kentucky and Indiana, legal and legislative experiences, marriage to Mary Todd, name-making debates with Stephen Douglas, struggles as president to end slavery and shore up the union, conduct of Northern forces as commander-in-chief, murder at Ford's Theater?all fuel the narrative drive of The Life of Abraham Lincoln.
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