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Lincoln as I Knew Him: Gossip, Tributes and…

Lincoln as I Knew Him: Gossip, Tributes and Revelations from His Best…

by Harold Holzer

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A neat little book that is a collection of reflections by people who had met Abraham Lincoln. Many of these came from unpublished sources, and told great anecdotal stories about Lincoln that even I had never heard. Harold Holzer was the editor and did a fine job organizing and explaining the sources for each reflection. Recommended for fans of Lincoln. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
interesting ( )
  porian | Dec 1, 2005 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 156512166X, Hardcover)

Abraham Lincoln, the president whose strength of character held the United States together during its most traumatic experience, the Civil War, was an enigmatic figure. Using extracts from the writings of those who knew him best, this handy, small-format book presents the man in all his contradictions. Intensely private and given to dark moods of melancholy, he was respected and loved for his easy accessibility, humor, and unfailing courtesy. Physical descriptions suggest what it must have been like in his presence: his towering height at six feet four inches; his strange face, "the despair of every artist who undertook his portrait"; and the intelligence and empathy that shone from deep-set eyes--features constantly commented on. Lincoln's disregard for the physical details of ordinary life--clothing, food, personal appearance--was genuine, though he was not above ruffling his hair before a photograph to enhance this impression. The anecdotes are chosen to bring out elements of Lincoln's character, for example, his honesty and legendary love of books: a relative tells of his working three days hay-making as a boy to pay for a borrowed Life of Washington damaged in the rain. From his deliberate writing of the Proclamation of Emancipation over many days, we deduce his cautious decision-making and highest moral standards, as well as his political shrewdness. Short descriptions of the writers place the extracts in context: useful guides, as the writers range from Lincoln's family and colleagues to bitter enemies, including his assassin. Lincoln As I Knew Him is biography at its most accessible, building a sympathetic portrait of an extraordinary personality and colossal historical figure. --John Stevenson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:01 -0400)

This is a fascinating collection of nineteenth-century letters, diary entries, book excerpts, and speeches written by people who actually met Abraham Lincoln. How did abolitionists and slaveholders invited to the White House view him? Why were Lincoln's childhood playmates jealous of him? How did fellow lawyers rate his legal skills?

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