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Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year (original 2012; edition 2012)

by David Von Drehle

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8717138,736 (4.45)4
Member:nbmars
Title:Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year
Authors:David Von Drehle
Info:Henry Holt and Co. (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:non-fiction, history, American History, war, Civil War, presidents, Lincoln, biography

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Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year by David Von Drehle (2012)

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Tough times call for tough people. 1962 was most definitely tough times for the 16th President. David Von Drehle in his book Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year, show us just how perilous it was.
Using all sorts of resources in his research, many primary resources, but also a lot of secondary sources as well.
Nothing here is new, nor is his topic that earth shattering. It would take quite a novel effort to forge new paths for this subject, and as good of a read as this is, it does not rise to that level.
The books narrative is quite readable and Drehle's ability to communicate clearly with his readers is a strength.

Lincoln proved that he was the tough guy that the times demanded. Drehle's work showed him clearly working through the tough moments that beset him in '62. I enjoyed the read, but I am not sure who I would recommend it to other than Lincolnites and Civil War aficionados. ( )
  Schneider | May 13, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In David Von Drehle book, Rise to Greatness, he starts off with the premises that 1962 was the most pivotal year of the American Civil War. As we read this book we are given a look at the events of this year from the perspective of Abraham Lincoln himself. We are taken through the year month per month being exposed to the political, military and family obligations and crisis met by this president and how he dealt with each of them. A year of the Union Army being turned into a true army, the president keeping his hands on the reins of government and convincing Europe to remain out of the conflict.

Not a lot of information will be new to those who have read up on Abraham Lincoln yet I found this work to be fascinating and informative. A plethora of reference material as researched by this author including personal diaries and letters of the parties involved in the administration or war. The authors perspective was refreshing, provided good insights into what was transpiring at the time and at the same time was an enjoyable read. ( )
  hermit | Nov 26, 2013 |
We heard David von Drehle speak at Chautauqua this summer and was inspired to read his book. He focuses on 1862 as the pivotal year of the Civil War. The exposition is primarily chronological and he manages a good mix of military, political and personal information. A pleasure to read. ( )
  gbelik | Oct 30, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I got this free in exchange for a review, which I am belatedly posting here.

I am such a fan of Abraham Lincoln, but I find it interesting that the more I read, the more I find I didn't know. This one didn't have a whole lot of information that was completely new, but the perspective was a bit different. It starts with a ball in the White House while upstairs, Lincoln's young son was dying. The year was the most difficult of his life, but it was also the year that saw the turn of the Civil War.

Lots of political machinations in this one, lots of military info, but also some insight into Lincoln's relationship with those closest to him. Well done. ( )
  cmbohn | Aug 3, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
So much has been written about the Civil War and about Abraham Lincoln that there may seem to be no nuance of either that has been left unexplored. In Rise to Greatness, however, David Von Drehle finds an intriguing new avenue of approach. The book follows Lincoln month by month through 1862, which, the author argues, was the pivotal year of the war--not 1863, as many aver. Eighteen sixty-two, after all, saw such events as the fall of New Orleans, which yielded access to the lower Mississippi River; the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation; and the adoption of the practice of living off the land, which lessened the need for supply lines and facilitated troop movements. Not all readers will concur with Von Drehle's assertion, but this reviewer found his argument persuasive. Rise to Greatness is an outstanding read and a real page-turner. Those interested in Lincoln or in the Civil War should not miss it. ( )
  Fjumonvi | Mar 25, 2013 |
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For Henry, Ella, Addie, and Clara:
Never doubt the power of courage and determination.
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(Prologue) The year began with a day so warm and fine that only the calendar said January.
Abraham Lincoln stood that morning in sunlight slanting through the tall windows of the Blue Room, taking his place at the head of a receiving line with his wife.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080507970X, Hardcover)

The electrifying story of Abraham Lincoln's rise to greatness during the most perilous year in our nation’s history

As 1862 dawned, the American republic was at death's door. The federal government appeared overwhelmed, the U.S. Treasury was broke, and the Union’s top general was gravely ill. The Confederacy—with its booming economy, expert military leadership, and commanding position on the battlefield—had a clear view to victory. To a remarkable extent, the survival of the country depended on the judgment, cunning, and resilience of the unschooled frontier lawyer who had recently been elected president.

Twelve months later, the Civil War had become a cataclysm but the tide had turned. The Union generals who would win the war had at last emerged, and the Confederate Army had suffered the key losses that would lead to its doom. The blueprint of modern America—an expanding colossus of industrial and financial might—had been indelibly inked. And the man who brought the nation through its darkest hour, Abraham Lincoln, had been forged into a singular leader.

In Rise to Greatness, acclaimed author David Von Drehle has created both a deeply human portrait of America’s greatest president and a rich, dramatic narrative about our most fateful year.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:49 -0400)

The electrifying story of Abraham Lincoln's rise to greatness during the most perilous year in our nation's history.

(summary from another edition)

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