Unlike many biographies of Abraham Lincoln, which have concentrated on particular aspects of his life, his politics, his writings, his personal life or background, this book is presented as a detailed, definitive biography which draws together all the strands of the politician's life, and includes much new material. Lincoln emerges from it as a ...
Unlike many biographies of Abraham Lincoln, which have concentrated on particular aspects of his life, his politics, his writings, his personal life or background, this book is presented as a detailed, definitive biography which draws together all the strands of the politician's life, and includes much new material. Lincoln emerges from it as a fascinating personality, an intensely political, tormented, yet deeply attractive figure. The author, David Herbert Donald, is an authority on Lincoln and the winner of two Pulitzer prizes for biography.
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.
Publishers Weekly, 1996-09-30 Pulitzer prize winner Donald's biography was a PW bestseller for 11 weeks. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1995-08-07 Donald, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished scholar of the Civil War era (Charles Sumner), offers here a provocative reinterpretation of Abraham Lincoln's career and character. Donald presents Lincoln's nature as essentially passive. Throughout his life, according to Donald, Lincoln believed his destiny was controlled by some larger force or ``higher power.'' This conviction generated both an underlying fatalism and a pragmatic approach to problem-solving. If one approachæor one generalæfailed, another could be tried. Although the information available to Lincoln was often significantly limited by modern standards, bold plans based on a priori reasoning were foreign to his thought process. Instead, it was Lincoln's ability to respond to events and actions that brought the U.S. through its greatest crisis and established the matrix for successful, if imperfect, reunification. BOMC split main selection; History Book Club main selection. (Oct.)
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