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Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Gramercy (September 14, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 051720715X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517207154
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 9.8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This pictorial biography, a companion volume to a forthcoming TV miniseries, also stands well on its own. Most of the 900 illustrations are drawn from the Frederick Hill Meserve private family collection, a 19th-century photo archive that specializes in Lincoln material. Presented chronologically, the illustrations provide both a definitive visual record of Lincoln's life and a compelling view of the Civil War from the president's perspective. The text, by Meserve's grandson, former Life managing editor Philip B. Kunhardt Jr., and his two sons, relies heavily and effectively on quotations from Lincoln and his contemporaries. The book presents not an icon, but a man who "wrote like a poet, laughed like a hyena, and cried real tears." His consuming struggle to preserve the Union eventually led him to redefine its promises and extend its freedoms in ways that determined America's future. This work convincingly sustains and enhances Lincoln's position as a dominant moral figure of our history. 125,000 first printing; BOMC alternate.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

YA-- The companion volume to an ABC television documentary, this splendid pictorial biography is filled with photographs, portraits, and illustrations of Lincoln, his family, and his contemporaries. Many of them, including original works by Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner, are from the famous Meserve Collection, a major repository of Civil War and Lincoln memorabilia. The textual accompaniment features many of the subject's own words as well as eyewitness accounts, which are set off in shaded areas. Each month of Lincoln's presidency is given a double-page spread devoted to pictures of the significant and ordinary people he encountered during that time period. A detailed bibliography gives references to primary sources and literature that would be helpful to serious and interested researchers.
- Nancy Bard, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
A lovely classy book.
Cooksfor Parties
It is very detailed, with numerous pictures as well as some background on those who took part in compiling this book which is almost as interesting as the book itself.
Kitty
This is the best collection of Lincoln and Lincoln related photos I have ever seen.
A. Anderson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Candace Scott on August 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The quality of this book is what first grabs you. The paper is thick, glossy and has weight, it reproduces 19th century photographs beautifully. The text is ancillary and never intrudes upon the primary focus here, which are the photographs of Lincoln, his family and the people who shaped his extraordinary life. The text illuminates and expands upon the photographs, giving dates and other pertinent information.
If you're looking for a full-scale biography of Lincoln, look elsewhere, this is primarily a visual treat and one of the better photographic compilations on any President.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Joe Owen VINE VOICE on December 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Philip B. Kunhardt is to be highly commended for this outstanding photographic history of Abraham Lincoln. Not only are the photographs captivating, but the narrative of Lincolns life and the important events during his lifetime are interesting and enhance this book. Many interesting stories go along with the photographs of Lincoln from his 40's to his last days, however the most interesting part in my opinion is the month by month account of his presidency and the important events that occured. So much about the man has been written, but until this book was published not as many photos of President Lincoln were circulated or published. Just as important, are the events and stories which swirled around Lincoln. From his habits and humor to his history changing decisions are written in clarity and interesting form. His life and his loves are given with compassion, and his impossible losses of his sons and his mentally unballanced wife Mary Todd Lincoln is given unflinchingly. The last chapter of the book is about the assassination and the controversy surrounding Lincoln's remains, a very interesting and informative chapter to close with. I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in U.S. History or 19th Century U.S. History.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Brooke Cale on December 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This gorgeous book is now the crowning centerpiece of my new coffee table. I am the proud owner of several Lincoln books, but none seem to capture the words unsaid in pictures quite like this. We are privy to not only Lincoln himself, but Mary Todd in her old days (adorned by a pseudo-ghost behind her), along with Robert and Tad after the White House years. Each page is filled with stories and anecdotes about our 16th president. Well worth the money listed. Indulge and enjoy your backstep into history.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joseph P. Donnelly on March 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Kudos to the publisher Knopf and all involved on the quality of this book. The reproduction of the 19th century photographs is first rate. The sepia toned image of the great man inside the front cover is exceptionally gorgeous - just breathtaking.
John Updike said Knopf publishes the most physically beautiful books in America, and this book leads me to believe he's right.
This is not a comprehesive, scholarly biography of Lincoln, nor does it pretend to be. But the text reads well, and the Lincoln photographs are beautiful, all-inclusive and presented in sound written context. The large size of the book works particularly nicely here. Well done!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Over 400 pages of pictures of Abraham Lincoln, his family,
friends and enemies. This volume contains every known
picture of Lincoln, including the ones used on the penny and
5 dollar bill. Which are 2 of his worst presidential poses.
The compilation is so complete it contains a picture of his
horse, Old Bob, (unfortunately, there is no extant picture
of his other horse, New Bob) and his dog, Fido.

The text is easy-going and informative without any scholarly weightiness and the only mistake I could detect is on p. 71. Can you find it? The same consortium produced a very fine 4-part documentary for PBS.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Renee Gentry on April 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic and beautiful book--oversized, loaded with more photos than you've ever seen in a Lincoln book, and worthy of coffee-table display. But it's not just a picture book. Each page is jam-packed with text, including an account of a dream Lincoln had about his own assassination. You'll definitely want the hardback version. Even if you've got a hefty collection of Lincoln lore, you must add this book to your shelves!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This gorgeous book is now the crowning centerpiece of my new coffee table. I am the proud owner of several Lincoln books, but none seem to capture the words unsaid in pictures quite like this. We are privy to not only Lincoln himself, but Mary Todd in her old days (adorned by a pseudo-ghost behind her), along with Robert and Tad after the White House years. Each page is filled with stories and anecdotes about our 16th president. Well worth the money listed. Indulge and enjoy your backstep into history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Anderson on January 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best collection of Lincoln and Lincoln related photos I have ever seen. It took me more than an hour just to leaf through its pages the first time.

Possibly every picture taken of the iconic president (some completely new to me) is in here. I had read once of Lincoln's "leathery" complexion, but saw it for the first time here. In some pictures, Lincoln is nearly handsome (!) and in some his plain homeliness is clear. Put together chronologically, the reader watches the young man age and be worn by the war. Photography at the time required long exposures, so anything approaching a smile is difficult and so Lincoln smiles are very rare. In addition to Lincoln, his family, friends, rivals, generals and secretaries are here, many famous, many not. A few pictures are repeated when the text needs the visual support. Picture of his towns, his few homes, even the sort of fences he built are here. There are few Civil War battlefield pictures but those can be found elsewhere.

The text, a panegyric, is helpful for Lincoln novices and often with well chosen quotations from the man and his contemporaries. The authors do not distinguish between the prolific but suspect recollections of law partner Herndon or relative Dennis Hanks and the more credible witnesses. This is a visual paean to Lincoln, well put together and worth owning.

One more note: it is often hard, in other books, to see Lincoln's eyes, shadowed by his heavy untrimmed eyebrows and increasingly sunken in his face. Lincoln's intelligent eyes become progressively sad and experienced, bagged and wrinkled. Perhaps that combination is what we see as wise.
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