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Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography Hardcover – September 14, 1999

4.9 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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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 (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,349,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful, unforgettable and majestic just like every other Kunhardt Lincoln book. I could read a new book by this author every week for life if he chooses to focus on Lincoln. It's possible to truly get lost in time.

A painful little detail about the assassination that I'd never heard or read before...that the President might have seen Booth out of the corner of his eye at the very last second before Booth snuck up behind him at Ford's Theater on Apr 14 1865.

I pray that it didn't happen that way.
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By Kitty on December 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very pleased with this book especially the price. 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. I became interested in Lincoln after seeing the movie. I realizied how much I really didn't know about Lincoln before, especially the struggles he went through during his presidency trying to abolish slavery and the death threats he had against him even before his first inauguration and the loss of three of his sons four sons. Very interesting insight into this sixteenth president.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful large book full of rare photos and memorabilia. As someone interested in both the civil war and early photography I loved this book. I bought it as a gift but decided to keep it for myself. I became interested in Philip Kunhardt while watching the documentary Living with Lincoln. This was a nice addition to the dvd.
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