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Lincoln's Men: The President and His Private Secretaries
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Lincoln's Men: The President and His Private Secretaries

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  67 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
“An intimate portrait of Lincoln, so well-drawn that he seems to come alive on the page.”
Charleston Post & Courier

Lincoln’s Men by Daniel Mark Epstein offers a fascinating close-up view of the Abraham Lincoln White House through the eyes of Lincoln’s three personal secretaries: John Nicolay, William Stoddard, and John Hay. Like Doris Kearns Goodwin’s monumental New Yo
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Smithsonian
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Dec 25, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it
It took me a bit to read this but once I got past the first few chapters, which were purely background, it became fascinating. After all John Hay and John Nicolay, as secretaries to President Lincoln, witnessed the precursors to the Civil War and were ultimately responsible for the 10 volume over 1 million word biography that created the persona of the 16th President that we revere even today.

The reader is introduced to the internecine workings of the White House and the cast of characters that
Mar 18, 2009 Robert rated it it was ok
Abraham Lincoln's relationships with his private secretaries are among the most interesting and most character-revealing glimpses we have of him as a person. This book manages to make them a bit dull. How can someone make John Hay, one of the most astute witnesses to the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, boring? This reads like one of those books published before its voice was found. It's by no means a worthless read for someone interested in Lincoln, and includes ...more
Steven Z.
Apr 11, 2013 Steven Z. rated it liked it
The book jacket for Daniel Mark Epstein’s LINCOLN’S MEN states that the author explores the role of three remarkable young men who served as Abraham Lincoln’s “private secretaries” during the Civil War. The narrative however does more by delving into the relationship between John Nicolay, William Stoddard, John Hay and the sixteenth president. The reader is invited into the inner workings of the White House, how the war was conducted, the great issues of the day, and the social system that ...more
Sep 26, 2012 Jemma rated it liked it
A good book worth reading but unusually, one that suffers from being too short. At under 250 pages, it's difficult to see how this subject could be done justice.

Essentially, this is an 1860s West Wing with all the politics, intrigues, passions and surprises you would expect from such a politically charged era. This feels like an introduction to the subject only and really does leaving you wanting more.

Also, there is the suggestion that this might cover the gay allegations. Sadly it does not. It
Apr 27, 2009 Ala rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to finish this book, I kept putting it down, largely due to time constraints and the concentration needed to read it. I usually don't read non-fiction, but have started to enjoy the category lately. This book was a glimpse into Lincoln's presidency as seen through the eyes of his secretaries. Between the Civil War and the slavery question, dealing with a child's death (and wife's subsequent odd behavior), through his assassination, this book describes the relationship Lincoln ...more
A solid book that I would rate 3.5/5 if I had the option. It covers the history of the Civil War through the relationship between Lincoln and his secretaries. It is a very general history, and basically covers the history of the war in a short, quick book. We learn about the personal backgrounds of Hay, Nicolay, and Stoddard, but overall I feel like it really just touched on the surface. I am not sure there is too much more there for the author to dive in deeply with, but I did enjoy the read.
Jul 05, 2014 Diane rated it it was amazing
I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Epstein when he spoke to our book group at Emmanuel Church in Baltimore, a very entertaining speaker to be sure. This book was a real page turner just as his previous one on the Lincoln's marriage was. I felt at times like I was in the room with these men sharing the trials and tribulations of a war-torn country. I cannot recommend it enough!
Betty Adams
Jul 20, 2016 Betty Adams rated it really liked it
This provided interesting insight into Lincoln as a leader and as a thinker. I had no idea that Washington's social scene during the Civil War was so vibrant. That, too, provided a fresh look for me at an era I thought I knew well.
Jul 26, 2012 Edward rated it really liked it
Very interesting look at Lincoln through the words of his secretaries. His relationship with young John Hay (who went on to have a distinguished career, ending it as Secretary of State) was particularly touching - they enjoyed the same literature, the same humor, and each other tremendously.
Jul 28, 2009 Maire is currently reading it
Excellent! Have my nose buried in it now. I am amazed at how much new information -- at least new to me -- is being introduced.
Feb 12, 2013 Ronald rated it really liked it
I was put off by Mr. Epstein's style of writing at first, but once I got into the story of the three secretaries that served Mr. Lincoln was fascinating and I couldn't put it down.
Dec 13, 2010 Heather rated it liked it
A look behind the closed doors of the Lincoln White House, and how the president relied on his aides for friendship and support during the many trials of his tenure.
May 10, 2010 Ann rated it it was ok
This really deserves 2 1/2 stars. Parts of the book were very interesting, but spaced between boring and tedious writing that made the 242 page text a very slow read.
Jennifer Haberlin
Jennifer Haberlin rated it liked it
Sep 27, 2014
Sean rated it really liked it
Sep 29, 2013
Rick rated it it was ok
Jun 19, 2013
Aug 12, 2009 Paige rated it really liked it
Shelves: civil-war
Loved this book. It felt like I was there, knew them personally and spent days with them.
Charles rated it liked it
May 23, 2012
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Jun 14, 2012
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Jul 02, 2016
Ted rated it it was amazing
Sep 15, 2009
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Mar 09, 2016
Mel Bush
Mel Bush rated it it was amazing
Nov 13, 2012
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Nov 17, 2012
Jay Kragenbring
Jay Kragenbring rated it it was amazing
Mar 20, 2014
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Oct 24, 2014
Scott Allen Jandron
Scott Allen Jandron rated it it was amazing
Jun 29, 2016
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Jan 19, 2015
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