Unlike many biographies of Abraham Lincoln, which have concentrated on particular aspects of his life, his politics, his writings, his personal life ...Show synopsisUnlike 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.Hide synopsis
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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.
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.
The similarities in the support and opposition in Lincolns presidential years and that for Obama are a bit scary. Neither wanted to change the course of history, vis Emancipation and Health Care, but somehow it happened as personal belief
and external politics became major factors in their their ...
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