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A. Lincoln: A Biography

A. Lincoln: A Biography

Written by Ronald C. White Jr.

Narrated by Bill Weideman


A. Lincoln: A Biography

Written by Ronald C. White Jr.

Narrated by Bill Weideman

ratings:
4.5/5 (50 ratings)
Length:
27 hours
Released:
Jan 13, 2009
ISBN:
9781423377269
Format:
Audiobook

Description

In this important new biography, Ronald C. White, Jr. offers a fresh and fascinating definition of Lincoln as a man of integrity-what today's commentators are calling "authenticity"-whose internal moral compass is the key to understanding his life. Through meticulous research, utilizing recently discovered Lincoln letters, legal papers, and photographs, White depicts Lincoln as a person of intellectual curiosity, comfortable with ambiguity, and capable of changing his mind. The reader is treated to an exploration of Lincoln's compelling words, his changing ideas on slavery, the shaping of the modern role of Commander-in-Chief, and his surprising religious odyssey. A. Lincoln, so titled for the way Lincoln signed his name, sheds an innovative and profound light on our nation's most beloved leader for a new generation of Americans.

"Ronald C. White's A. Lincoln is the best biography of Lincoln since David Donald's Lincoln (1995).... Amid all the books on Lincoln that will be published during the coming year, this one will stand out as one of the best." -James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Released:
Jan 13, 2009
ISBN:
9781423377269
Format:
Audiobook

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Reviews

What people think about A. Lincoln

4.6
50 ratings / 21 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    One of the best books I have read! Abraham Lincoln is easily my favorite person in history, and this biography does a fantastic job covering his life and the major events of the Civil War. I cannot praise this book enough as being incredibly readable - it is not too much to say that this book truly reads like a novel. Lincoln's emotions come through in the reading and the author's use of the letters and speeches of Lincoln, both public and private, do a tremendous job of putting the reader into the President's mind. The author's background of being an expert on the speeches of Lincoln really shine through as he breaks down important speeches and analyzes their meaning, but not in a way that slows the book down in any way.

    There is not much else to say that has not already been said. While this is obviously a book that shines a positive light on Lincoln, the author does a good job of presenting the negative side and negative views about the President by his contemporaries. I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys a good read and wants to learn about Lincoln the man and President.
  • (5/5)
    An immensely, readable biography of our country's greatest president.
  • (5/5)
    Thoroughly enjoyed it! Story of how a normal man becomes a legend.
  • (5/5)
    This book is captivating to say the least. T is definitely a recommended reading.
  • (5/5)
    Great read, what a man. Truly enjoyable review of Lincoln
  • (5/5)
    Phenomenal book on Lincoln. Shows the man before the war and what set him up to be great
  • (5/5)
    Tells the life story of our 16th President a great man.
  • (5/5)
    I found this book very informative. I really enjoyed listening.
  • (5/5)
    GREAT audio libro para escuchar repetidamente un día a la vez
  • (3/5)
    In so many ways, I really enjoyed this biography of Abraham Lincoln. I learned a great deal about his upbringing, the challenges he had early in his life and the number of choices he had to make - and sometimes reverse - before becoming the savior of the Union. A. Lincoln also shined a spotlight on the conditions of the American Midwest in the middle of the nineteenth century as the pressures of an expanding country ran into the pull of slavery. This biography does an outstanding job of portraying America in the leadup to the Civil War. While there is so much to applaud with A. Lincoln, there are shortcomings as well. White has a propensity to linger on small points for far too long and then slip right past major points barely an acknowledgement. These are minor quibbles. The real disappointment was the way White cruised right over the final months of Lincoln's life, barely mentioned his assassination and completely ignored any discussion of the impact of his life on the years and decades that came after. As much as I learned from A. Lincoln, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with it in places, especially at the end. It may be that other presidential biographies have set a bar to high, it is difficult to achieve. But for Honest Abe, that bar is certainly worth exceeding. Still, despite its shortcomings, A. Lincoln is still worth spending time with.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. However, I did feel that parts of it dragged. I had problems getting through chapters that were more about local politics, I wanted to read about Lincoln and would have been happy to have something with not quite so much detail. I do see how it was important for White to set up the background events and current political climate that allowed/caused Lincoln to become president and ultimately amazing person that he became.

    The section on the civil war, and really Lincolns entire time in the presidency, was fascinating. A real page turner. It was exactly how I wanted to read about Lincoln. Even though I of course knew what was going to happen I still found myself absolutely gutted at the end of the book.
  • (5/5)
    Having not read any biographies of Lincoln, I was impressed with this very readable and informative addition to the many volumes out there. I'm now intrigued enough to search out others.
  • (5/5)
    How many of us can even pretend to live by this sentiment? How many politicians? In this day of virulent political bashing--even from the pulpit, how many clergy, even, can say this. So the story of this man, this ordinary, honest, rail-splitting, Father Abraham, alone rates five stars.I down rate the narration simply because I feel the narrator attempted, but did not carry-off, the Hoosier twang or the Illionois accent:Lincoln must have had some combination. But other than that, I thought the narrator, Bill Weideman, did a good job. I did not hear him breathe, nor did he swallow excessively...two of my real complaints too often.Overall, I suppose, biographies have a need for repetition of the same or similar material in various sections due to then nature of the uses that students will put the volume through.
  • (5/5)
    Since his assassination Abraham Lincoln has become the most written about American in history and his life has crossed over to film and cable television 'documentaries'. Early written portraits of Lincoln included elements that bordered myth, however the increased gathering of sources and attention to detail the story of Lincoln life has outgrown those earlier "mythic" elements to an even richer story. A. Lincoln by Ronald C. White, Jr., has emerged as not only the finest biography of the 16th President of the United States, but the most in-depth and fantastically written.White begins his biography by describing how Abraham Lincoln wrote his longest autobiography during the campaign of 1860, which was scant of detail and length to the frustration of newspaper editors. White then gives the reader a short, but detailed Lincoln family biography not only giving Lincoln's place within the whole of American history even greater context but giving the reader a taste of the depth of his research and what they're about to read.White describes Lincoln's early life in the context of frontier life and how it transformed as the frontier in which he lived transformed into a center of population and commerce. Lincoln's early Illinois political campaigns and career are examined, with White highlighting elements that showed Lincoln's progression not only as a politician and lawyer but as a leader as well. After the earlier successes in his political career up to 1848, Lincoln would not find election day success for himself until 1860 but White shows how the political leader Lincoln emerged not only in Illinois but onto the national stage to would springboard him to the Republican nomination and eventually the White House.The progression of Lincoln's executive and military leadership are fascinatingly written by White as Lincoln's presidency covers the last half of the biography. However, it is White's examination of Lincoln's evolving policy and speeches during this time that truly gives the reader a better understanding of the man himself.Having read Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals, I was introduced to many of the things White would highlight and truly give understanding to the reader. Although Goodwin's description and analysis of the 1860 and 1864 Presidential elections in Team of Rivals is superior to that found in White's A. Lincoln, it is minor to the fact that with White one gets a fuller sense of Abraham Lincoln himself while with Goodwin he is seen in connection and comparison with his cabinet.If you read one Lincoln biography or if you have read a hundred, I can not recommend A. Lincoln enough. Ronald C. White, Jr., book is the crowning achievement in Lincoln biographies and will be for decades to come.
  • (5/5)
    This is the best biography of Abraham Lincoln I have ever read. I had read others in the past, but this included personal items about Lincoln which impacted his actions as President - like his trip to Richmond shortly after it fell. Sadly also his ignoring threats against his life. This is a book worth reading again.
  • (4/5)
    This was my first Abraham Lincoln biography and I found it to be a highly readable introduction to his life. There are several elements of his career which I would like to expand upon but as an entry point I found it very helpful. I would agree with other reviewers that White stretches a little far in his suggestions regarding Lincoln's religious growth near the end of this 1st term as president. Still, White clearly has a good handle on Lincoln as a speech writer and orator. The last half of this book has a much quicker pace than the first half. I found myself eagerly awaiting the next section that dealt with the civil war battles and the follies of the war's prominent generals. The sections on the war's progress were intermittent and interspersed with political machinations back in DC our Illinois. If anything, this great book has convinced me to read more about the civil war and perhaps another biography or two of Abraham Lincoln to flesh out some of the more complex elements of his life.
  • (4/5)
    Ronald White, author of two previous books on Abraham Lincoln, offers his hand at a full biography of the 16th president in "A. Lincoln." Well-researched and well-written, the volume capably gives a solid and balanced portrait, but hardly breaks new ground. In many ways, the book pales in comparison to David Herbert Donald's 1995 "Lincoln," with its fuller treatment; the only improvements involve the incorporation of recent scholarship -- such as the importance of the Soldier's Home as a location for Lincoln's presidential years -- and an increased appreciation of Lincoln's agency (in contrast to Donald).
  • (4/5)
    An excellent biography of Lincoln, but I wish it had contained a little more information about what happened to other players in the aftermath of his death. While its true that the story of Abraham Lincoln as a living man ended in 1865, his legacy has lived on much longer than that. I'm not advocating that White comment on the modern view of Lincoln, but a few pages discussing how close family and friends behaved in the immediate aftermath would have added a nice bit of closure for this reader.
  • (4/5)
    White's biography, released at the bicentennial of Lincoln's birthday, incorporates new information mined since David Donald's 1996 "Lincoln," but does not improve on it. If you are only going to read one book on Lincoln, I would suggest Donald's book. If you plan to read more than that you will naturally want to read White's book as well (and probably Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," with it's slightly larger scope and shorter time frame).White's most substantive variations from Donald's work is in his account of Lincoln's pre-Presidential life and in his parsing of Lincoln's speeches. The former serves to flesh out a subject with additional detail and structure than Donald's work. The latter is interesting to a point, but one could choose to read Gary Will's "Lincoln at Gettysburg" or White's own "Eloquent President" if one wanted an analysis of Lincoln's rhetoric. White also spends substantial time attempting to support the argument that Lincoln was more religious than popularly believed. This argument puzzles me somewhat - White seems to want to stretch Lincoln's church attendance and use of biblical rhetoric beyond where one can safely go in reconstructing the inner beliefs of a man over a century dead. While it is obvious Lincoln's early fatalism and near-agnosticism was tempered later in life by a belief in divine providence, I read nothing that indicated Lincoln became anything close to an orthodox Protestant Christian. And it hardly matters, anyway, except perhaps to religious history professors, like White.White does a good job of conveying Lincoln's development over time - how he became more confident of his own judgment on the war instead of simply deferring to the Generals, and especially his slow, pragmatic approach to emancipation, but the book as a whole is vaguely unsatisfying. But then, the more I read of and about Lincoln, the more I want to read and the less satisfied I become. White seems to recognize the appetite Lincoln awakens in those who study his life and work, as he himself seems to have acquired it, too.
  • (5/5)
    I believe that 500 years from now, Lincoln will have joined the historical people of the ages, and this book will make a large contribution to realizing that honored position. Clearly, White has done a huge amount of research and describes wonderfully how Lincoln learned every day of his life. It is a mark of greatness that as we learn we are able to reform our thinking. The changes in Lincoln's view of slavery and of God, as noted in this work, are wonderful to note.
  • (3/5)
    This is an ok bio. of lincoln, not real in depth. mr. white does show the political side of lincoln very well. he shows lincoln's confilict with slavery, he believed it to be morallly wrong but also believed until the civil war started the consititon protected it. lincoln was a very good lawyer and had a strong belief in the law