Abraham Lincoln: A Life

Front Cover
Penguin, Dec 30, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 192 pages
9 Reviews
The ideal concise biography of an American icon- now available in paperback for the bicentennial of his birth

The self -mad e man from a log cabin, the great orator, the Emancipator, the Savior of the Union, the martyr-Lincoln's story is at the very heart of American history. But who was he, really? In this outstanding biography, award-winning author Thomas Keneally follows Lincoln from his impoverished birth through his education and presidency. From the development of his political philosophy to his troubled family life and his actions during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln is an incisive study of a turning point in our history and a revealing portrait of a pivotal figure.

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Review: Abraham Lincoln (Penguin Lives)

User Review  - Goodreads

Fantastic. Abraham Lincoln provides a wonderful life for such a talented writer as is Keneally. As usual, his writing is concise without ill-placed tangents and belaborments. This is a great and quick ... Read full review

Review: Abraham Lincoln (Penguin Lives)

User Review  - Goodreads

A well-written, well-researched brief life of Lincoln. Even though I've read a good bit about Lincoln (including Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals), I found this biography enlightening. I think ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Thomas Keneally was born in 1936 and raised in the rugged expanse of Australia. As a

young man, he planned to join the priesthood, but by 1960, on the verge of the Vietnam

War, Keneally found the church in such moral turmoil that he decided it was impossible

to go through with his ordination.

Keneally received his formal education in Sydney, Australia. Over the past 30 years, he

has published over 25 novels, more than a dozen screenplays, and several works of

non-fiction. These works include "The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The Playmaker,

Season in Purgatory, A Family Madness", and "Woman of the Inner Sea." His work

has been nominated four times for the Booker Prize, which he won in 1982 for "Schindler's

List". He won the "Los Angeles Times" Prize for Fiction, The Miles Franklin Award, The

Critics Circle Award, and a Logie (Australian Emmy).

A self-described "literary biker," Keneally has traveled through Australia, Iceland, Antarctica,

America, Eastern Europe, roaming across genres and topics, often championing the underdog.

"I'm a writer who's always been hard to pin down," Keneally says, "because I've sometimes

written about things that are none of my concern -- like the American South or Antarctica or

Australian aboriginals or the Holocaust. I think I appeal to 'hells angels' kind of writers."

Keneally has modeled many of his characters after the traditional Australian hero -- the

"battler." "In America everyone admires successful men and women. In Australia, they

suspect them. The Australian hero is the person to whom everything has happened --

drought, fire, flood."

Oskar Schindler is a classic Keneally character -- conflicted and flawed, the antithesis of a

one-dimensional altruistic saint. And Schindler's story is a classic Keneally story -- an

ordinary man placed in a situation of enormous moral dilemma.

While researching "Schindler's List, " the author spent two years traveling to eight countries, where he interviewed many of Schindler's Jews and read the numerous testimonies which

are held at the Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority, Yad Vasbem, Israel.

Keneally lives in California where he teaches in the graduate writing program at the University of

California, Irvine, where he holds a Distinguished Professorship.

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