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Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America: A Biography
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Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America: A Biography

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  259 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
In Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America, historian William Gienapp provides a remarkably concise, up-to-date, and vibrant biography of the most revered figure in United States history. While the heart of the book focuses on the Civil War, Gienapp begins with a finely etched portrait of Lincoln's early life, from pioneer farm boy to politician and lawyer in Springfield, t ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 17th 2002 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published April 8th 2002)
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Aug 20, 2008 Lou rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: History lovers.
Shelves: history
Exceptionally well-done book. I recommend it to anyone. The most notable thing I can say about it is that it highlights in a most brilliant way, the development and wielding of President Lincoln's leadership and people skills.

Lincoln's nature was one of patience and good humor and in spite of the burdens he bore, leading the country through its darkest times, he maintained his good demeanor and his good will toward all men.

Mr. Gienapp has done a spectacularly good job with his book.

Feb 04, 2009 Aine is currently reading it
Ok, just started this one last night. I was a bit intimidated -- and thinking it was going to be boring/dry -- because it'd been a while since I'd read a politician's biography. But I've been sucked right in. I also want to read "A Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Let me get through this one first though. :)
Poppy Milliken
Mar 08, 2009 Poppy Milliken rated it liked it
A brief biography of Lincoln. Does not go into great depths, but makes for a nice overview. I wanted to know more about his personal life in the white house, but that was not in the scope of this particular book. Luckily, there are hundreds of books on the man and none of them cover everything.
Sep 18, 2011 Jenna rated it it was amazing
Read for school. Highly addictive, very readable bio of one of the most awesome American Presidents who ever lived.
Tom Mackie
Jul 29, 2011 Tom Mackie rated it really liked it
Shelves: lincoln-studies
We use this for our introduction Lincoln class at LMU.
Oct 17, 2009 Nick rated it really liked it
This is a great biography on Lincoln. It's an easy read even though it was a required book for my Civil War history class.
Ty McEachern
Feb 23, 2017 Ty McEachern rated it really liked it
True greatness is best measured in times of extreme duress; perhaps no moment in the history of this nation was as tumultuous and uncertain as the American Civil War. In that time, a divided nation saw President Abraham Lincoln lead them from certain destruction into a new era of growth and future prosperity. In, Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America, William Gienapp craftily weaves the intricate historical figure Abraham Lincoln into a steady narrative on the events of the Civil War, showcasing ...more
Alyssa Caraher
Jan 17, 2014 Alyssa Caraher rated it liked it
Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America: A Biography is an extremely informative book of the life of our 16th president. It starts out with his life as a young boy, soon growing into his life as an adult. He was raised as a pioneer child who was usually expected to work on the farm, though, however, he instead hated it and tried his best to read whenever possible to educate himself, and soon grew into a great politician. He stuck to his morals, and with his bravery of stopping slaver, he went on t ...more
Mar 25, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it
A great biography of Lincoln that's easy to read without sacrificing accuracy. It's very accessible and avoids hyperbole or speculation one way or another. My only problem with this was the depiction of Mary Todd Lincoln, who is described repeatedly as hysterical. Hysteria is so loaded in the context of the Victorian era that I would have expected a historian to challenge that instead of just accepting the "diagnosis", but since this is not a Mary Lincoln biography that was not his focus. Otherw ...more
Aug 28, 2012 Paul rated it liked it
Shelves: own-a-copy
I love History books. This was not well written. It violates the number one rule for journalism: "Show don't tell." Don't say, "By the time Congress adjourned in August, Lincoln had largely developed his style of leadership" without showing us this is true.

Characters were introduced then quickly dropped. Tell more about his family life. What happened to his children--too much stuff was left out to make it an easy read.
Gordon Leidner
Dec 31, 2016 Gordon Leidner rated it it was amazing
For a short biography, Gienapp's work is insightful, thorough, and a great read. I've read a lot of Lincoln biographies, most of which are much longer, but I still learned a lot about Lincoln in this book. I believe Allen Guelzo's "Reedemer President" is the best of the longer biographies of Lincoln, but Gienapp's "Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America: A Biography" is the best that is under 300 pages. He provides the reader with a balanced picture of Lincoln and the times he lived in.
Alicia Farmer
Sep 22, 2011 Alicia Farmer rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
I am embarrassed by how little I know about the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln. Probably because of my ignorance, I learned a great deal about both the war and its President in this short book. I suspect it's all old news for anyone well-versed in the era. But as an introduction to Lincoln's missteps and strengths, as well as the Civil War's socio-political context, it was great.
Nov 25, 2016 Alisha rated it really liked it
This book was wonderful and historically accurate. I hate e it 4 stars because it wasn't as detailed as it could have been. There were some more personal stories of Abraham Lincoln that could have been mentioned to help give the reader a better understanding of him. However, this book has taught me a lot about that particular time in history.
Jul 18, 2014 Iman rated it liked it
This is a good read for college students, or anyone who would like a nice overview of the man's life. Per the title, the bulk of this book is focused on his position in office and the civil war time. The author loved Lincoln and that is the point of view this book is written from.
Aug 13, 2009 Patti rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading about Lincoln and the history/politics of his day. With the exception of Lincoln, a surprising number of politicians and upper echelon military were portrayed as even more vacuous and self-centered than they are today. Very sad.
Jul 03, 2008 David rated it liked it
I would give this 3 1/2 stars if I could. It was an easy-to-read, but a bit standard, biography. Overall, it chronicles Lincoln's life accessibly, which has both its pros and cons, but it was enjoyable enough to give it more than an average rating.
Beau Yeiser
Jan 09, 2017 Beau Yeiser rated it it was amazing
This is a great introduction to Abraham Lincoln's life and the key moments of his career. If you're looking for his early life, or his assassination, look elsewhere. But if you want to read a short and sweet summary of his life from birth to death this is a good read.
Leah Capritta
Jul 07, 2013 Leah Capritta rated it it was amazing
Breezily written, Gienapp's biography shows us Lincoln in his finest and at his worst. I particularly enjoyed descriptions of the battles drawn as a foil against the political events.
Jul 27, 2011 Skj added it
pretty sure this is the one I read
Chris Schaben
Mar 10, 2014 Chris Schaben rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People interested in Lincoln
Pretty good, interesting biography of Abraham Lincoln.
Oct 17, 2014 Dylan rated it really liked it
Phenomenal book on Lincoln's early life and his journey into the ages.
Tiah Keever
Apr 23, 2009 Tiah Keever rated it liked it
Nov 10, 2014 Mary rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-school
Had some good info, but it overall was pretty dry
Feb 21, 2009 Paul rated it really liked it
A good concise biography of Lincoln using much of the resources of the past few years. At 200 pages, it's a good overview of the life and the Civil War.
Jan 24, 2009 Greg rated it really liked it
A pretty good read about Lincoln and his leadership
Sarah Elizabeth
Mar 28, 2014 Sarah Elizabeth rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the biography aspect, learning about Loncoln's early life and such. The political, war stuff took me so long to get through.
Carley rated it liked it
Nov 24, 2015
Bekah rated it it was amazing
Feb 24, 2008
Matthew Dunphy
Matthew Dunphy rated it really liked it
May 29, 2016
Richard Dotson
Richard Dotson rated it liked it
Dec 25, 2013
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