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Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years Paperback – Bargain Price, November 1, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
When I was a freshman in high school, our English teacher offered us a deal: Anyone who read Sandburg's biography (then in six rather daunting volumes) would not have to attend class for a semester. I took him up on that offer, and was blessed to find my way through Sandburg's gift to the American people. Here is the highly detailed, thoroughly researched, and articulately written story of Abe Lincoln's years among us.
If you have time to read only one of the Civil War books from that burgeoning genre, read this one. You will come to know, from the inside out, this prairie boy who became a towering figure in American history.
This single volume is insightful, laser like in it's detail yet painting the times of Lincoln in a broad and beautiful brush. Did you know that in 1860 tools could be honed to within one ten thousandth of an inch of accuracy? That magazines and newspapers said the world would change for-ever because of the new "instant" communication nation wide?
This is more than biography. It is a woven fabric depicting the times and life of Abraham Lincoln.
The writing is a blend of the Doris Kearns Goodwin and the William Manchester styles. Sandburg demonstrates the craft that made him poet laureate. He will dedicate pages, chapters to the social context and events of the times, and then place the players in that context to show the reasons decisions were made as they were. It should be said that this work is actually a distillation of a multi-volume work that Sandburg wrote earlier. It keeps that historical accuracy, and yet is very readable for the non-historian.
As good as Sandburg is, the story is of Lincoln, and it is a story worth reading (maybe more than once). I have bought extra copies and given them out to friends. You will come to know greatness in a flawed and sometimes crude man. You will take new found reverance in the monuments and symbols we have created to him. Their is a quote in the preface that best sums this up: "There is no new thing to be said about Lincoln. Thee is no new thing to be said of the moutains, or of the sea, or of the stars. The years go their way, but the same old mountains lift their granite shoulders above the drifting clouds; the same mysterious sea beats upon the shore; the same silent stars keep holy vigil above a tired world. But to the mountains and sea and stars men turn forever in unwearied homage. And thus with Lincoln. For he was a mountain in grandeur of soul. He was a sea in deep undervoice of mystic loneliness. He was a star in steadfast purity of purpose and service. And he abides."
Read this book, and you will soon find the poetry in these words too.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am chipping away at this. It is anecdotal rather than strictly researched. A different approach to Lincoln and I find it rather nice and somewhat humorous (the anecdotes are... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jorge Barbarosa
Regardless of the condensation, it still comes to over 1500 standard pages. Carl Sandburg's work and remains THE seminal work on the subject. Read morePublished 8 months ago by D. Hoffman
You think Obama has enemies? No president was more unpopular than Lincoln. Everybody hated him, slave owners, abolitionists, workers in the North, even his own cabinet. Read morePublished 10 months ago by William E. Rittenberg
Hard book to find now in libraries... still major book for research!Published 10 months ago by Nana W
Although it is unfortunate that Sandberg did a poor job of citing his sources, this book is a fascinating read--dense reading, but an invaluable resource. Read morePublished 12 months ago by harborsparrow
Sandburg has an astounding feel for Lincoln, unrivaled by any other biographer. This is a masterpiece, an American classic.Published 13 months ago by EZ
Sandberg researched Lincoln for many years, gathering material from reputable secondary sources and some primary sources. To that extent he has an excellent book. Read morePublished 15 months ago by david fogarty