In the bestselling tradition of Truman, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer David Herbert Donald offers a new classic in American history and biography -- a masterly account of how one man's extraordinary political acumen steered the Union to victory in the Civil War, and of how his soaring rhetoric gave meaning to that agonizing struggle ...
In the bestselling tradition of Truman, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer David Herbert Donald offers a new classic in American history and biography -- a masterly account of how one man's extraordinary political acumen steered the Union to victory in the Civil War, and of how his soaring rhetoric gave meaning to that agonizing struggle for nationhood and equality. Donald spent 50 years studying Lincoln tracing his rise from humble origins to the pinnacle of the presidency. He reveals the development of the future President's character and shows how Lincoln's enormous capacity for growth enabled one of the least experienced men ever elected to high office to become a giant in the annals of American politics. And he depicts a man who was basically passive by nature, yet ambitious enough to take enormous risks and overcome repeated defeats. Much more than a political biography, "Lincoln" seats us behind the desk of a President who was both a master of ambiguity and expediency and a great moral leader, as he makes the decisions that preserved the Union and shaped modern America.
Donald writes so well that the 600 pages flies by, Shows Lincoln as sympathetic, noble, flawed, politically astute - a beautifully complex portrait..
Jan 22, 2009
Looking At Lincoln From All Angles
This is a well-researched, well-written book; and the only one I can find at this time that documents Lincoln's concern that the slaves have a way of returning to Africa, if they so desired to go. This piece of history is usually left out of Lincoln's biographies.
I recommend this book to anyone who'd like to see all facets of this man, and this president.
Sep 10, 2008
In the first edition of this book Donald wrote that Lincoln's mother died of a milk born disease called brucellosis. Actually the disease was milk sickness caused by drinking milk contaminated from cows eating the white snakeroot plant. The actual compound was determined to be tremetol named after the tremors cows exhibiting the symptoms of white snakeroot poisoning. The plant grows in underbrush and was responsible for wiping out entire villages until the pioneer coralled the cows in a pasture away from the whitesnakeroot. Later in life Lincoln used the term "slows" to define General McClellan. Other symptoms of the white snakeroot poisoning included lethargy. I sent information describing what I had found to Professor Donald and he wrote back to tell me that I was the only one to show him proof that brucellosis was wrong and white snakeroot poisoning was correct. In the meantime I found white snakeroot in the underbrush on my parent's property. It blooms in October and this was the time of year when milk sickness happened. Lincoln had a massive memory for things and the fact he facetiously referred to McClellan's actions as the "slows' is proof of this. The cabinet meeting in which he recorded this was reported in the diary of Gideon Wells, the Secretary of the Navy. Donald's is full of research and his dedication to Lincoln was seen in this brilliant study.
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