First published in 1996, this masterly study of Abraham Lincoln differs from most full biographies of the 16th President in focusing especially closely on Lincoln the man and not on the events surrounding him. Drawing extensively on Lincoln's private papers, including many previously unknown, the book is written with the same deftness and authority that won its author Pulitzer prizes for his biographies of Charles Sumner and Thomas Wolfe. This is an endlessly fascinating study of one of the most compelling figures in American history. At a length of nearly 40 hours, this audio edition demands a serious commitment from listeners, but Norman Dietz's narration makes it a treat. Dietz has a wonderful knack for conveying both folksy warmth and commanding seriousness-a perfect combination for an intimate biography of Lincoln. Recommended for general collections.-R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Donald, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished scholar of the Civil War era (Charles Sumner), offers here a provocative reinterpretation of Abraham Lincoln's career and character. Donald presents Lincoln's nature as essentially passive. Throughout his life, according to Donald, Lincoln believed his destiny was controlled by some larger force or ``higher power.'' This conviction generated both an underlying fatalism and a pragmatic approach to problem-solving. If one approach‘or one general‘failed, another could be tried. Although the information available to Lincoln was often significantly limited by modern standards, bold plans based on a priori reasoning were foreign to his thought process. Instead, it was Lincoln's ability to respond to events and actions that brought the U.S. through its greatest crisis and established the matrix for successful, if imperfect, reunification. BOMC split main selection; History Book Club main selection. (Oct.)
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. "A grand work--the Lincoln biography for this generation." David W. Blight Los Angeles Times "A one-volume study of Lincoln's life that will augment and replace the previous modern standards by Benjamin Thomas (1953) and Stephen Oates (1977). Donald's Lincoln is a scholarly achievement." James M. McPherson The Atlantic Monthly "Eagerly awaited, Lincoln fulfills expectations. Donald writes with lucidity and elegance." Harold Holzer Chicago Tribune "Lincoln immediately takes its place among the best of the genre, and it is unlikely that it will be surpassed in elegance, incisiveness and originality in this century. . . . A book of investigative tenacity, interpretive boldness and almost acrobatic balance."