Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Penguin Lives)

Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Penguin Lives)

Thomas Keneally

Language: English

Pages: 192

ISBN: 0143114751

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The ideal concise biography of an American icon- now available in paperback for the bicentennial of his birth

The self -mad e man from a log cabin, the great orator, the Emancipator, the Savior of the Union, the martyr-Lincoln's story is at the very heart of American history. But who was he, really? In this outstanding biography, award-winning author Thomas Keneally follows Lincoln from his impoverished birth through his education and presidency. From the development of his political philosophy to his troubled family life and his actions during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln is an incisive study of a turning point in our history and a revealing portrait of a pivotal figure.

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dwellers and ill-paid artisans of the cities, and to the poor farmers of the East. These new territories would be run, according to the Whig ideal, not on the basis of the dark drudgery of Lincoln’s boyhood but on that of the newest agricultural knowledge, disseminated by agricultural colleges in their midst. Yet every time such measures would be proposed, Southern interests voted them down, for fear that the new territories would become hotbeds of abolition, and that free land would undermine

heaven and ten to hell A’ for thy glory, And no one for ony guid or ill They’ve done afore thee! It was a conundrum that concerned many sensitive souls in nineteenth-century America, and despite his rugged body, Abraham was such a soul. His sister, Sarah, had married one Aaron Grigsby, whom Abraham Lincoln did not like. When Abraham was seventeen years of age, she and the child to whom she was trying to give birth both perished. Here was God’s inscrutable will at work once more, its

lost her faith in séances and charlatans, some of them genial, some of them vicious. According to Lizzie Keckley, Lincoln had had to point out to Mary the Washington mad-house and warn her gently that if she could not accommodate her grief, that was where she would end. So, even domestically, Lincoln was fighting an uncertain battle. On the afternoon of New Year’s Day, a group of former slaves who had had the proclamation read to them came in joy to the White House lawn, a black preacher

parlous wage conditions. The draft was also condemned as an intrusion by the nation on the desires of the citizen, and as a further violation of Democratic ideology. In fact only fifty thousand men would be drafted, and the wealthy could in any case evade the draft by paying a bounty of three hundred dollars, which was passed on to whoever substituted for them. But the process nevertheless acted as a spur to recruitment and a further sign that the Union intended to finish this war. Later, in the

found it not to Springfield’s or the Lincoln family’s taste when he produced some of this material in the form of lectures. Originally Lamon intended to produce a second volume covering Lincoln’s presidency, but the first, raising matters of illegitimacy, marital unease, and theological doubt, became an object of abomination in the United States, not least to Mary Todd and Robert Todd Lincoln, and the second volume never appeared. At last redoubtable William Herndon himself produced Lincoln: The

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