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Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years Paperback – November 1, 2002
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About the Author
CARL SANDBURG (1878–1967) was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize, first in 1940 for his biography of Abraham Lincoln and again in 1951 for Complete Poems. Before becoming known as a poet, he worked as a milkman, an ice harvester, a dishwasher, a salesman, a fireman, and a journalist. Among his classics are the Rootabaga Stories, which he wrote for his young daughters at the beginning of his long and distinguished literary career.
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
Great story well told. I already was an admirer of Lincoln and now I know he really earned that admiration.Published 16 days ago by Danurt
In my readings on the Civil War and the politics behind it, I began to collect a considerable number of words and actions by Lincoln that didn't fit the mythical Lincoln I had... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Ol'BlueEyes
I love it, but it's a bit heftier than I expected it to be.....Published 2 months ago by Carol H. Santucci