From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up-Burchard provides readers and researchers with a rich understanding of the preeminence of slavery as a political and moral issue in 19th-century America and of the importance of Lincoln's leadership in abolishing it. The author traces his subject's evolution from a young man with a personal antipathy toward slavery to a president who led the country to a broader understanding of freedom. He places Lincoln's story in historical context showing how he was influenced by the events of the era and how he used his formidable political and oratorical skills to guide public beliefs and policy. The author is admiring of the steps Lincoln took in courageously ending slavery and overcoming his occasional personal bigotry toward blacks. He uses many primary sources, documented in essay form at the end of the text. Black-and-white photographs; reproductions of posters, prints, and engravings; and other material accompany the text. This book complements biographies such as Albert Marrin's Commander in Chief: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War (Dutton, 1997) and primary-source collections such as Lincoln: In His Own Words, edited by Milton Meltzer (Harcourt, 1993). An outstanding choice.Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
A look at Abraham Lincoln's evolving views and actions toward African-Americans and slavery; Burchard avoids a dry, textbook-like presentation, but sometimes jumps from one period to another without effective transitions. Burchard succeeds in his main purpose, painting a complex portrait of Lincoln's character; he emerges as a real human being with some flaws, but also with enormous maturity, wisdom, and compassion. The text is enlivened by anecdotes and details from Lincoln's life and from the lives of other notable figures of the period, such as abolitionists and fellow politicians. Such a clear picture of the times is further aided by black-and-white photographs and drawings from the period. Readers will come away with a strong grasp of the tensions that led to the Civil War, and an understanding of the African-American struggle for freedom; the clarity of Burchard's writing and thinking eclipses any textbook offering on the subject. (index, not seen, notes, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 12-14) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.