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Mr. Lincoln's High-tech War

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  118 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Thomas B. Allen’s expertise in military history and strategy is combined with Roger MacBride Allen’s knowledge of technology to reveal a lesser-known yet fascinating side of the 16th president of the United States. Their authoritative narrative reveals Lincoln as our nation’s first hands-on Commander-in-Chief, whose appreciation for the power of technology plays a critical ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published January 13th 2009 by National Geographic Children's Books
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Honza Prchal
Sep 05, 2015 Honza Prchal rated it really liked it
While the author leaves out some much-needed explanations of WHY running railroads was difficult (and remains so - making the trains run on time was always an impressive achievement a good deal harder than setting up a government website), this is a solid, informative, entertaining book.
I "read" it as an audiobook, narrated by Fred Sullivan, and the version is unabridged and otherwise identical (save for the absence of any illustrations not on the cover), and can say that the clarity and conci
Simon Aaronson
Dec 19, 2015 Simon Aaronson rated it it was amazing
Summer Reading Book Review

Historical Summer Reading Book Review: What Were the Life Lessons?

One of the life lessons in Mr. Lincoln’s High-Tech War is that although you believe that everything you do is absolutely perfect, whether it is a weapon or a telegraph, it can still be improved. During the Civil War, the flintlock firing system was improved with the percussion-cap system. A more current example would be writing for english, history, or science. You could write a rough draft and think that
May 07, 2014 Con rated it liked it
Mr. Lincoln’s high-tech war by Thomas B. Allen and Roger Macbride Allen was a good, easy read which informed me more about the civil war in depth outside of social studies class. This book was published by National Geographic which made me pick up this book because NG usually makes good books. It had an interesting cover which cut straight to the point; they believed Lincoln won the war using advanced technology. This included the telegraphs, railroads, balloons, and iron clad ships. Since this ...more
"Mr Lincoln's High-Tech War" is a good summary of some of the major technological improvements occurring during the Civil War. Though a valuable book, it is rather like a survey course, a great deal of details, but not a lot of depth. Many of the technological improvements discussed here warrant lengthy tomes on their own (many have been written) in particular weapon inventions (Springfield repeaters, new breechloading rifles), the invention of the Ironclads and the Hunley, the very first submar ...more
Apr 07, 2009 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: j-nonfiction
Enthusiastic about the new technology just beginning to appear in the world, Abraham Lincoln used the telegraph, railroads, surveillance balloons, ironclad ships, high-powered weapons, and more - including the concept of total war - to win America's Civil War in the 1860s.
I would not have thought there could be a fresh, informative look at Abraham Lincoln by this point, but this picture of Lincoln as the technology enthusiast and hands-on war commander is full of fascinating - and new to me - fa
Ross Davis
Dec 28, 2015 Ross Davis rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-reviews
Thomas Allen's non-fiction book about how the North used new high-tech weapons and devices to win the Civil War. Although the book was filled with information about many different topics, he fails to bring the ideas together to form one central theme of how the North capitalized on these new inventions. The title includes "How the North used," which foreshadows that he will give specific examples of times the technology was used, but he does not do this well.

In one section of the book, he disc
Miss Pippi the Librarian
The Civil War is of great interest to thousands of Americans. It's a war that divided the nation. Author Thomas B. Allen focused on the war, but with a new aspect - the technology of the times. The main theme is technology and how Lincoln loved it and utilized it when possible.

For any Civil War enthusiast or history lover, this is an excellent non-fiction piece. Allen shares information about Lincoln's patent (the only President to have one), the telegraph, the railroad, hot air balloons, the na
Amber Lovett
Dec 30, 2014 Amber Lovett rated it really liked it
Allen, Thomas B. and Roger MacBride Allen. Mr. Lincoln’s High Tech War. 2009. 144 pp. $18.95. National Geographic. 978-1-4263-0380-7. Ages 10-15 A chronological history of the Civil War from the roots of the conflict to its end and the death of Abraham Lincoln. The story focuses on the ways in which technology was used by Lincoln to defeat the South and change the face of modern warfare forever. Some ideas explored are the use of telegrams, railroads, ironclad warships, hot air balloons, and rap ...more
Jan 04, 2013 marin rated it liked it
market research

Limited booktalking appeal, only subject specific. Rather dry approach which is unfortunate give the topic and sexy title. Some interesting trivia bits (Lincoln the only president to be awarded a patent, female Pinkerton agent that escorted Lincoln to his inaugural, etc.) that are lost in the unremarkable narrative style. Drab black and white illustrations that are sometimes difficult to see (ironic much National Geographic?!). Perfect size with a nicely type-set cover to mimic a
Dec 19, 2009 Lisa rated it liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: Cap Ch 10-14
Interesting look at the use of technology during the Civil War. The most fascinating thing to me was the notion that Abe Lincoln's parents' generation did not expect technology to change. The same tools, guns, methods of transportation, etc. had been in use for many generations. Whereas Abe's great-grandfather could easily have used the tools and guns and wagons that Abe grew up with, his father wouldn't have had a clue what to do with the guns, telegraph machines, trains, and other tools develo ...more
May 26, 2010 Patty rated it really liked it
This is a young adult book but I loved the way they presented the history of the Civil War, not by long lists of battles and generals (although both are mentioned, often). Instead the entire war is covered by talking about the new technologies that were either used or developed during the war. Iron clad ships, telegraphs, side-loading rifles, and railroads are the highlights but there are a variety of other things that came into being during this long conflict.

Since it is a YA book its a pretty
Jul 15, 2010 Anners rated it really liked it
This meticulously-researched and well-argued book holds that the Union won the war because of technologies the South didn't have, like: printed telegraph messages, long-haul railroads, high-powered weapons and rifles that could shoot three rounds a minute, and submarines and surveillance balloons, to name just a few I can remember off the top of my head. Bet you didn't know some of those were used during the Civil War!
Katie Bruce
Feb 27, 2011 Katie Bruce rated it really liked it
Shelves: j-nonfiction
An interesting look at the technology used in the Civil War and the ways it affected not only the outcome of that war, but society and daily life after. I especially enjoyed the chapter on hot-air balloons. I had no idea those were ever used by the military! This is definitely a high-level "kids" book and probably only for those really interested in war or military strategy. But I'm sure those kids are out there and I'm glad this book exists for them.

Also, Lincoln was awesome.
S. J.
Jan 11, 2014 S. J. added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to S. by: Library
As I can no longer be assured that my data or my account will survive on this site, I am posting all my ratings and reviews on my blog at Booklikes. If you would like to read my thoughts on this audiobook, please click here to go directly to my review.
Mar 30, 2010 Jamie rated it liked it
Shelves: 10-12, war, nonfiction
Possibly I have Lincoln fatigue. But I didn't feel as if this book delivered on what it promised. There were some interesting "high tech" tidbits, but mostly I felt it was just another book. Each chapter had more background setting than the actual "high tech" of it. A nice book that I think I just expected more from.
Jun 17, 2012 Frank rated it it was amazing
an excellent read, (published by National Geographic, so it's not overly technical) about how new technologies made the U.S. Civil War quite different from previous wars, and allowed the North to win. subtitle reads "How the North used the Telegraph, Railroads, Surveillance Balloons, Iron-clads, High-powered Weapons and More to Win the Civil War."
Jan 10, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing
Can you get any better than telling the story of the Civil War with an emphasis on how the advancing technology affected the outcome? (Okay, that was a really awkward sentence, but you get the idea.) I am not going to apologize that I love hearing about engineers saving the day. This book is a quick read (juvenile non-fiction), if you get a chance to read it, do it.
Apr 22, 2010 Chrissy rated it liked it
From innovations in firearms and railroads to ironclads and submarines, see how they were designed, developed and used by the North to win the Civil War. The detailed descriptions and fascinating true stories in this book will keep the pages turning, even though you know the end of the story.
Feb 28, 2010 Shannon rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
One YA book was all it took to double my knowledge of the Civil War. We've got to do something about history education.
Jun 11, 2012 Jacob rated it really liked it
I thought that this book does a very good job describing the civil war and what help win it why and how. Also the techniques used for winning a war.
Jun 11, 2013 Bryn rated it really liked it
It was interesting to find out about some technology that was around back in the time of the Civil War.
Sep 01, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
Really interesting on how people of the time feared "technology" such as the railroad or using hot air balloons for surveillance.
Noah Jensen
Nov 04, 2010 Noah Jensen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 8th-grade
i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! its all about the weapons lincoln used against the

south and all
Feb 24, 2013 Timo rated it really liked it
A great book. One thing I learned is that Mississippi did not formally ratify the 13th amendment until about a week ago. That's pretty amazing.
Mr. Bruton
Mr. Bruton rated it it was ok
Sep 29, 2013
Bailee Hendrix
Bailee Hendrix rated it it was ok
Sep 28, 2016
Meaghan rated it liked it
Aug 19, 2015
Charlotte Wolery
Charlotte Wolery rated it liked it
Oct 07, 2013
Charles D. Hood
Charles D. Hood rated it it was amazing
Jan 30, 2015
Justin Gray
Justin Gray rated it really liked it
Aug 05, 2015
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Thomas B. Allen's writings range from articles for National Geographic Magazine to books on espionage and military history.
He is the father of Roger MacBride Allen.
More about Thomas B. Allen...

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