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The Portable Abraham Lincoln (Penguin Classics) Paperback – January 27, 2009
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From Library Journal
- Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
-Ric Burns, co-producer of PBS's The Civil War
Top Customer Reviews
Mixed throughout the speeches are letters, both public and private, which reveal his inner thoughts and animating philosophy. Included is his short and moving letter to Mrs. Lydia Bixby, featured in the movie Saving Private Ryan, which is the most eloquent expression of patriotic grief I have ever read.
The book is organized in themes, from his emergence of a polictian to his writings as Chief Executive and as Commander-in-Chief, and ending up with Fate.
This book is for people who want to go beyond the soundbytes featured in documentaries; it places those famous phrases in the context of the entire speech and the commentary is kept to a minimum, showing respect for the reader.
There are certain people it simply an honor and uplifting to be in the presence of . Lincoln is such a person, and so these words of his inform and most often, inspire.
In one early piece, Lincoln waxes nostalgic by comparing the lethargy of his generation to the generation who fought in the Revolutionary war (talk about the "good old days" is nothing new). In an 1848 letter, he makes some stinging comments against the then-president's "lies" that got America into the Mexican War(sounds similar to modern complaints about you-know-who getting us involed in you-know-where).
Modern revisionists love to take scattered comments by Lincoln about Black people to show that Lincoln was a racist. Aspects of the Douglas debates and his mesage of colonization of 1862 do not deny this, but such people conveniently forget (or omit) Lincoln's evolution of thought as evidenced by the Second Inaugural Address (which also appears in its entirety at the Lincoln Memorial) and his statements about Black soldiers having the right to vote (in the 1860s, mind you). Some racist!
It is also important to remember that Lincoln wrote all of his own speeches and was largely self-educated! When you compare the quality of his speeches and writings to our soundbyte era, it is truly remarkable.
Read this book and become acquainted with greatness.
There are two main reasons why I find The Portable Lincoln so pleasing.
First, editor Delbanco (who's best known for his insightful work on American Puritans) prefaces the collection with an elegant and informative intellectual biography of Lincoln that prepares the way for a more informed reading of the selections. He also provides a useful chronology of Lincoln's life, and he introduces each of the book's six sections with prefatory remarks that put the selections in context.
Second, the selections themselves are carefully chosen and genuinely representative of Lincoln's thoughts in each of the six periods of his life from which they're drawn: his early years up to 1850; the pivotal "republican" years of 1854-1859; the presidential campaign, 1860; the early days of the war, 1860-1861; Lincoln the war president, late 1861-1864; and the reflective Lincoln, 1864-1865.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It had most of the big speeches and letters and was much lighter than other volumes I have...so Yes, portable. ;-)Published 12 months ago by Becky Stoltzfus
How could a collection of Abraham Lincoln's writings fail to please anyone except Jeff Davis and his admirers? My only criticism is that it is not a longer book.Published on April 1, 2014 by Amazon Customer
I only needed the book for a class and it was listed at a reasonable price. The book arrived earlier than planned and I was happy with the purchase.Published on August 7, 2012 by enhurley