Abraham Lincoln: A Life, Volume 1

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Johns Hopkins University Press, Dec 1, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 2024 pages
5 Reviews

In the first multi-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln to be published in decades, Lincoln scholar Michael Burlingame offers a fresh look at the life of one of America’s greatest presidents. Incorporating the field notes of earlier biographers, along with decades of research in multiple manuscript archives and long-neglected newspapers, this remarkable work will both alter and reinforce current understanding of America’s sixteenth president.

Volume 1 covers Lincoln’s early childhood, his experiences as a farm boy in Indiana and Illinois, his legal training, and the political ambition that led to a term in Congress in the 1840s. In volume 2, Burlingame examines Lincoln’s life during his presidency and the Civil War, narrating in fascinating detail the crisis over Fort Sumter and Lincoln’s own battles with relentless office seekers, hostile newspaper editors, and incompetent field commanders. Burlingame also offers new interpretations of Lincoln’s private life, discussing his marriage to Mary Todd and the untimely deaths of two sons to disease.

But through it all—his difficult childhood, his contentious political career, a fratricidal war, and tragic personal losses—Lincoln preserved a keen sense of humor and acquired a psychological maturity that proved to be the North’s most valuable asset in winning the Civil War.

Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, this landmark publication establishes Burlingame as the most assiduous Lincoln biographer of recent memory and brings Lincoln alive to modern readers as never before.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dh1515 - LibraryThing

This huge book is the best current compendium of facts about Lincoln's life as a whole. Some of Burlingame's speculations are questionable, such as that Mary Todd convinced Lincoln that marriage was necessary because of their physical intimacy, but the speculations are identified as such. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BAP1012 - LibraryThing

Excellent biography of Lincoln. Many details which can induce drowsiness at times but can also give great insight and clarification to perceptions of Lincoln. This book takes time to read if you ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Michael Burlingame is Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield. He is the author or editor of a number of books about Lincoln, including Lincoln Observed: Civil War Dispatches of Noah Brooks, published by Johns Hopkins, and The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln.

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