This fully rounded biography of America's sixteenth President is the product of Donald's half-century of study of Lincoln and his times. In preparing it, Donald has drawn more extensively than any previous writer on Lincoln's personal papers and those of his contemporaries, and he has taken full advantage of the voluminous newly discovered records of Lincoln's legal practice. He presents his findings with the same literary skill and psychological understanding exhibited in his previous biographies, which have received two Pulitzer Prizes. Much more than a political biography, Donald's Lincoln reveals the development of the future President's character and shows how his private life helped to shape his public career. In Donald's skillful hands, Lincoln emerges as a youthful, vigorous President. One of the youngest men ever to occupy the White House, he was also the husband of an even younger wife and the father of boisterous children. We witness how Lincoln's absorption with politics disrupted his family life, and how his often tumultuous marriage affected his political career. And we see a man renowned for his storytelling and his often sidesplitting humor lapse into the periods of deep melancholy to which he was prone, not only during the dark days of the Civil War but throughout his life. Donald's strikingly original portrait of Lincoln depicts a man who was basically passive by nature, who confessed that he did not control events but events had controlled him. Yet coupled with that fatalism was an unbounded ambition that drove him to take enormous political risks and enabled him to overcome repeated defeats. Donald shows that Lincoln was a master of ambiguity and expediency - but he also stresses that Lincoln was a great moral leader, inflexibly opposed to slavery and absolutely committed to preserving the Union.
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by Mark Twain
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"A Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer makes an exhaustive study of the sixteenth president, informed by primary sources unavailable to previous investigators and concentrating on the man rather than the times and supporting cast. The author reveals his facts and analysis of Lincoln's personality and ideas in clear, everyday, albeit somewhat long-winded, language. The rustic subject is given a cracker-barrel reading by Norman Dietz. He conjures up images of an old Springfield lawyer regaling visitors with recollections of a distinguished acquaintance. Throughout this tome he remains expressive, focused, and folksy, though sometimes his overworked voice betrays fatigue. Except for frequent annoying mouth noises, his is an admirable performance in every way. Y.R. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine"
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