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Lincoln: A President for the Ages

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3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  87 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
The First American. Frontiersman and backwoods attorney. Teller of bawdy tales and a spellbinding orator. A champion of liberty some called a would-be tyrant. Savior of the Union and the Great Emancipator. All these are Abraham Lincoln—in his time America’s most admired and reviled leader, and still our nation’s most enigmatic and captivating hero.

Timed to complement the n
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by PublicAffairs (first published October 8th 2012)
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Daniel Clausen
Feb 18, 2014 Daniel Clausen rated it liked it
Why the three star rating? The essays themselves are good enough, but why these essays in this volume? The essays are a kind of motley crew of historical essays, an actor's reflection, and interview, and personal reflections on Lincoln. What makes this a companion guide to the film? I don’t really know.

For me, the essay written by Gloria Reuben was by far the most enjoyable. It’s an essay about discovering her character—Elizabeth Keckley—and how she went about bringing her to life. It’s written
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Becky
Dec 15, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it
This was a fantastic win for me from Goodreads.

Karl Weber showed the many faces of Lincoln by comparing other leaders in history that had to make their own crucial decisions just as Lincoln had to make his. Comparing decisions to FDR in WWII, Truman to drop the bomb to end WWII. I'm a big history buff of WWII and particularly enjoyed those chapters.
Each chapter is a short story on major decisions with a speech or letter from Lincoln.
No one can say what Lincoln would have done, one can only spec
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Joanne
Jan 18, 2013 Joanne rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
11/29/12 A Goodreads giveaway raffle book - received today. Husband will read and give a review.

Because it is written by a great number of writers and scholars, though interesting it was not biographical as I'd wished for everyone has their own opinion. Sometimes hard to follow, not knowing all the time who's writing each story as they almost seem to follow through to each others references or made up expectations.

Saw the movie Lincoln about a month ago. Passed along to a service contractor aft
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Day Rusk
Nov 17, 2014 Day Rusk rated it really liked it
Abraham Lincoln has held my interest from childhood. Despite growing up in Canada, is a grade one or two classroom, I found a picture book on his life and was hooked from that moments on. Seeing as I'm almost fifty, the two of us have spent a lot of time together, over countless biographies. When this companion book to the movie came out, how could I resist?

Lincoln: A President for the Ages takes a look at the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln and asks the question of how he would behave and act if
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Jacob Lines
This collection of essays was assembled to be a companion book for the Steven Spielberg film starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Most of the essays in the book take on “what-if” questions. How would Lincoln have dealt with the War on Terror? Women’s suffrage? Dropping the A-bomb? How would he compare to FDR and his approach to the Depression and World War II? Would he have been a successful politician today? A lot of people say that these kinds of exercises are silly and ahistorical. In fact, one chapter ...more
Hal
Dec 21, 2012 Hal rated it liked it
Recently a lot of focus has been put on Abraham Lincoln much of it surrounding the release of the film“Lincoln A President for the Ages” by Steven Spielberg. This book edited by Karl Weber is a series of 13 essays about Lincoln as a companion to the film. I have not seen the movie yet so I cannot compare its content with the book. I however saw a critique on a news program on television concerning the film by an historian. His basic criticism of the film was that it embellished Lincoln’s ...more
Kathy Stone
Nov 18, 2014 Kathy Stone rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
While many essays in this collection are speculative at best the variety of essayist writing in this book are varied and show how Lincoln has become an icon to every sort of American and lover of free men everywhere. There is Lincoln the emancipator and Honest Abe Lincoln who most of us remember from February School plays. Now this collection does not go into the travesty of his being shot after his second Inaugural, but does admit that Andrew Johnson was too mean to have handled the Civil War. ...more
Sheryl
Mar 21, 2013 Sheryl rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received Lincoln: A President for the Ages through the First Reads Giveaway. I was hoping to see the movie, but that has not happened, yet. I thought I would give the review on just the book, then perhaps add how it served as the companion to the movie later.

The book is a collection of 13 essays that examine various aspects of Lincoln. I found the essays to be interesting, in part. There were plenty of tidbits to pick up about the historic figure. Many authors attempted to posit what Lincoln
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Daffney
Dec 31, 2012 Daffney rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
The essay collection Lincoln: A President for the Ages, edited by Karl Weber, is an engrossing chronicle that discusses many aspect of the man and his political legacy from previously neglected vantage points. In light of the recent Spielberg film, appropriately titled: Lincoln, this collection provides an insightfully nuanced look at the popular President; certainly, the book sheds a very stark light on the current American political climate.

The book’s thirteen essays concern a variety of topi
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Zena Ryder
Jul 02, 2013 Zena Ryder rated it liked it
I love the idea behind this book — tying it to the movie and thus encouraging more people to read some history. The format is great too — individual short essays, rather than one long book, which many people would never get through. The focus is on Lincoln's *ideas*, rather than on what he did in his life, although of course that comes into it. And the question that most authors were asked was along the lines of, "If Lincoln were alive today, what would be his views on....?" Would Lincoln be in ...more
 wade
Dec 23, 2012 wade rated it really liked it
Here's the deal, this book is what it is a "popular" book on Lincoln which is a companion to the movie. I did learn some things about Lincoln and the writing was on the whole quite good. My problem with this series of essays is they were almost all based to some extent paralleling Lincoln's experiences with other presidents and some were a little far fetched - Lincoln versus Truman and the decision to drop the bomb on Japan in WW2. Would he have done it too? So what? There is also an interview ...more
Carrie
Feb 28, 2013 Carrie rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, history
This book is a suppliment to go with the Lincoln movie. It contains various essays by activists, professors, judges, Lincoln experts, etc. Each essay addresses one current issue and thoughts on how Lincoln would have handled this issue if he were president today. I found parts of the book just terrific and others mediocre. I enjoyed Lincoln's actual words the most. I was left with mixed feelings about the entire book that is why I gave it three stars. The essays were well-written, imformative ...more
Rob
May 07, 2013 Rob rated it really liked it
My biggest problem with the companion book to the movie Lincoln is that it does not seem to know what it wants to be. An anthology, the book itself lacks a sense of focus. Repeatedly throughout the book some of the authors mention that it is impossible to know what would Lincoln do at pivotal points throughout American history- it continually mentioned that this is not a "what if..." book. Then proceeds to ask what if. Then add the piece by Sylvia Reuben , an actress from the movie, and you have ...more
Rhiannan G
Feb 21, 2013 Rhiannan G rated it really liked it
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book!

A President for the Ages, edited by Karl Weber is an enveloping chronicle that covers many aspects of Licoln and his political legacy from previously neglected vantage points.


The books thirteen essays discuss a variety of topics ranging from the President’s character, Lincoln’s views on woman’s suffrage and, by extension, women’s rights; as well as Lincoln’s deftness as a communicator, a engrossing subject given the President’s gifts as an orato
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Kristen
Jan 09, 2013 Kristen rated it it was ok
"Lincoln: A President for the Ages" was written as a companion to the recently released Steven Spielberg film. It's thirteen essays tackle questions of what Lincoln might have done if faced with challenges outside of his lifetime: women's suffrage, the atomic bomb, etc.

While well-written, the political bias of the essayists and editor are transparent, making the premise of the work null and void. In my opinion, one cannot examine the hypothetical without removing pre-conceived biases. Had the w
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Larry
Dec 21, 2012 Larry rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
3.5 I received this book from Goodreads giveaways. I was intrigued by the fact that this book is a companion to the new Lincoln movie. I am not illiterate but felt as if I were after reading this book (so many new to me words used by the different experts). The book was somewhat repetitive in the fact that the different experts would use the same situations to explain their point on what they felt Lincoln would do if he were to react to major historical events that have occurred since his death. ...more
Heather
Oct 10, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it
This book is issued as a companion to the Spielberg movie (also called Lincoln). I had not watched the movie before reading this book and I don't feel that it is necessary. This book is a collection of essays written by different authors that offer unique and different views on Lincoln's character. Also included are Lincoln's own words from speeches or letters, which I personally enjoyed. Some of the essays were not all that intriguing but others were. I believe this book is definitely worth the ...more
Molly
I was really wary of this, because the back of the book mentions "Would Lincoln have dropped the bomb on Hiroshima?" and some other speculative historic statements that I despise. But the actual contents of the book were far from that sort of speculation- yes, they talk about parallels between Lincoln's actions and decisions made during the Civil War, and those of FDR, Truman, and Bush had to make in similarly tough situations. But they are all (for the most part) very scholarly, and read more ...more
Tiffany
Aug 10, 2015 Tiffany rated it really liked it
I won this book via a Goodreads giveaway. This is a spectacular collection of essays, cartoons, pictures, and an interview about Lincoln (who happens to be my favorite President). It would be easy to make this collection redundant, but not so with this one--lots of tidbits, information, and ideas I had never before heard about Lincoln and it's fun to speculate about how Lincoln would operate in today's modern society. For anyone interested in learning more about Lincoln the man, the President, ...more
Jay
Dec 17, 2012 Jay rated it really liked it
Noted authors and scholars speculate as to how the 16th President would have responded to events far removed from the mid-19th century. And of course, this is the problem. I loved the response to an inquiry, "What would Lincoln do about forced-bussing?" First he'd ask, "What's a bus?" That said, there are some intriguing insights here, most notably those of Henry Louis Gates on Lincoln and slavery, race, and colonization (which Lincoln viewed as three distinct issues) and Harold Holzer on public ...more
Cheryl
Apr 06, 2014 Cheryl rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Yet another book proves that the meaning of Abraham Lincoln is for all ages to discern. This collection of essays remembers, celebrates, questions, theorizes, and tries to make sense of the man, the politician, the President and his legacy. Each essay offers a unique perspective to the understanding of Lincoln, race relations in the U.S. and other important topics. As a lifetime admirer of Lincoln, I've read better books about him, but this is still a good read that offers a fascinating look ...more
Lauren Patterson
Feb 04, 2013 Lauren Patterson rated it liked it
I received this book as a GoodReads win and was very excited to read it considering its relations to the new Steven Spielberg movie that recently came to the theatre. This book of essays gives you a new insight to the many faces and characteristics of our popular 16th president. I personally found it very interesting how the different essays address some of the most controversial and popular questions associated with Abraham Lincolns morals, decisions, and lifestyle. Any history buff would love ...more
Terri
Mar 25, 2013 Terri rated it it was ok
A collection of essays in which many authors posit what would Lincoln do
with various modern situations. The essays are well written and researched. The excerpts of Lincoln's own writings are fascinating. However, ultimately for me, I was put off by the transparent attempts by several of the authors to mold the vision of Lincoln they present to bolster their own political views.
Worth a read, and it does provoke thought. However, it gives more insight into the authors of the essays then it does
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Stacy
Jan 31, 2013 Stacy rated it liked it
Shelves: firstreads
I won this book as a FirstRead.

It was interesting to read the authors' takes on how Lincoln might have handled some of the issues that have come up since his death, such as the Great Depression, women's suffrage, and the war on terror. The one thing that bothered me about the book was that, since each chapter was written by a different person, several facts were repeated many times in the book. I have not yet seen the movie that this book is a companion to, but I look forward to seeing it after
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Marisa
Dec 27, 2012 Marisa rated it really liked it
There are hundreds of biographies of Abraham Lincoln. Luckily, this is not another one. Rather it is an exposition by various Lincoln scholars on various aspects of his personality and character - his sense of public opinion, ability to shape political events, etc. Some contain great insight - "Lincoln the Unlikely Celebrity" by Harold Holzer and "The Almighty Has His Own Purposes" by Richard Carwarine. The book is meant for those who already know the surface Lincoln and want to go under the ...more
Walt
Dec 11, 2012 Walt rated it really liked it
Recommended to Walt by: GOODREADS
RECEIVED FREE FROM GOODREADS FIRST READS. I was delighted to read this collection of essays by people who have grappled with Lincoln and who’ve come to know him, each on her or his terms, and on Lincoln’s terms as well. Here are Lincolns that you’ll embrace, Lincolns you won’t recognize, Lincolns you'll be skeptical of or maybe angered by, and Lincolns who’ll add richness and depth to the Lincoln you already know.

Exapno Mapcase
Dec 09, 2012 Exapno Mapcase rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This is a Goodreads First Reads review.

Weber provides an interesting compilation of essays of the life of Lincoln that nicely paints a full picture of the 16th president. Although most paint Lincoln in a positive light, I feel that they hold an objective view. There is one interview included that does not match up well with the other articles, especially since the interviewee does not seem to know about the book’s idea.
Shannon
Dec 30, 2012 Shannon rated it really liked it
I received my first read book from goodread giveaway I personally love stories about Lincoln this book was detailed and interesting, sometimes you can read a story about the same subject and get bored with it but not with this book. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who may have an interest in learning a bit more of history.
Jaime
Dec 04, 2014 Jaime rated it it was ok
I received this book as part of Goodreads giveaway for my father.

He's found it to be kind of dry, with some interesting tidbits on Lincoln. It's a bit too opinionated with more "what ifs" than most historical-based books should be. Because it's supposed to be close to the movie, my father will not see the movie ( though I still plan on it).
Linda
Sep 03, 2013 Linda rated it it was ok
I read this book only because it is the November 2013 local library book club choice, otherwise I'd have chosen a different book about Lincoln if I'd wanted to read about him. It is a companion to the most current movie, which is a turn-off, and it is to ask "what would Lincoln have done if" --and I find that vexing.
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Karl Weber, president of Karl Weber Literary, is a writer, editor, and book developer with over twenty-five years' experience in the book publishing industry. He is an expert in general-interest non-fiction publishing, specializing in topics from business and personal finance to politics, current affairs, history, autobiography, self-help, and personal development.

Weber's recent projects include t
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