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"We are Lincoln Men": Abraham Lincoln and His Friends

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  218 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
""We Are Lincoln Men"" examines the significance of friendship in Abraham Lincoln's life and the role it played in his presidency. Though Lincoln had hundreds of acquaintances and dozens of admirers, he had almost no intimate friends. Behind his mask of affability and endless stream of humorous anecdotes, he maintained an inviolate reserve that only a few were ever able to ...more
Hardcover, 269 pages
Published November 4th 2003 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2003)
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Community Reviews

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May 03, 2009 Jean rated it liked it
Donald examines the role of friendship in Lincoln's life by exploring Lincoln's relationships with his six closest friends: Joshua Speed, business partner; William Herndon, law partner, Orville Browning, U.S. Senator; William Seward, Secretary of State; John Hay and John Nicolay, private secretaries. It was quick read having just read Donald’s epic biography of Lincoln and also because the author appears to have borrowed heavily from this earlier work of his in passage after passage.

For his ana
Ronald Wise
When it comes to studying the life of Abraham Lincoln, this book provided a nice change of pace. After reading Doris Goodwin's Team of Rivals, I didnt think there was much more to learn about Lincoln, though I still felt uninformed as to what he was like as a person on a one-to-one basis. Author David H. Donald also felt that was an area requiring further research.

There were no shocking revelations in this book. Donald's approach was as a serious historian, seeking verification of all details be
Feb 07, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jim by: Found in the large print section of the Public Library
I learned from this book that Lincoln started his Presidential campaign prep in 1959 with a number of politically knowledgeable and experienced individuals in Illinois who admired him and were willing to work for him. Some of them were rivals with each other on different issues, but saw Lincoln as a person who they could depend upon as being a knowledgeable, competent and reasonable person.

I also learned that having the Republican convention in Chicago that year was significant. Lincoln probably
Mar 02, 2013 Cami rated it really liked it
The most pleasant thing about this biography is the angle. It shows the life of Abraham Lincoln through his relations with the handful of close friends he had. Seemingly just one or two for different stages of his life.

This volume assumes a cursory knowledge of Lincoln's general time line and presents information from letters and diaries from his friends.

Reading this was enjoyable and informative. It only got a bit tedious when it spoke of Lincoln's Secretary of State William Henry Seward.

Mar 23, 2016 Art rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Lincoln
I did enjoy this book.
I discovered things about Mr. Lincoln that I didn't know.
Mr. Donald also talked about some controversial areas in Mr. Lincoln's life and I liked the fact that he directed you to those areas of other scholars of fields of study.
Very Oriented on primary sources is another reason why I liked this book.
I learned some interesting things about Lincoln that I didn't know before. This book seems almost like a "companion book" to Donald's larger works on Lincoln, that I haven't read. It's written in chapters devoted to each of Lincoln's friends, & therefore doesn't follow Lincoln's life in chronological order. (Well, it does, but some of the chapters overlap.) I'm pretty linear so I found that a little disconcerting! But overall it was interesting. Maybe I didn't follow it as closely as I could ...more
Jan 03, 2010 Peter rated it really liked it
This is a fairly short book (approx. 220 pages), and an easy, fast read. It contained some insights about some of the men who were closest to Lincoln, particularly about Orville Browning, that I had never read before. In addition, the chapter about William Seward's relationship with Lincoln begins by discussing for several pages the relationship between Lincoln and an army captain named David Derickson, who spent at least part of every day with Lincoln as his personal guard for four months in 18 ...more
This one isn't for everybody, but if you're a serious history buff or interested in the phenomenon of "lonely at the top," you may enjoy the late David Herbert Donald's portraits of Abraham Lincoln's friendships, both as a small-town lawyer and as the 16th president, in "We Are Lincoln Men." It focuses particularly on Joshua Speed, law partner Billy Herndon, Orville Browning, and the unlikeliest of them all, Secretary of State William Seward, a rival (and the odds-on favorite) for the Republican ...more
May 05, 2012 Anne rated it liked it
Shelves: civil-war
This is a short, easy-to-read book about the men who were closest to Lincoln (Joshua Speed, William Herndon, Orville Browning, William Henry Seward, John Nicolay, and John Hay), and the relationship between them and the president. Donald, who died in 2009, was probably the leading authority on Lincoln, and his ideas are worth hearing. But nothing in the book will be news to anyone familiar with Lincoln. His relationship with Seward, Nicolay, and Hay, for instance, are well covered in Doris Kearn ...more
Jul 28, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book got me thinking about my own friendships.
Jan 29, 2010 Dick rated it liked it
I do not give four stars very often and wish there was a 3.5 stars option to provide. Mr. Donald has written much on Lincoln and is a surperb researcher as well as writer.

This book provide a lot of personal insights on Lincoln and the people around him, including his wife Mary.

I thorougly enjoyed the book and will try to worlk some of the material into my one act play on Licoln's faith.
Steven Elliott
Sep 02, 2015 Steven Elliott rated it liked it
Fascinating read about the male friendships of Abraham Lincoln from his early years to his assassination. Donald offers very in depth looks int raucous of these men, but his insistence about Lincoln's sexuality proves problematic and the introduction of Derrickson in Seward's section is confusing. Still a good read and informative with Mary still the evil in Lincoln's life.
Diane Heath
Mar 05, 2013 Diane Heath rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This is not a true biography. It is a summary of the friendships between Lincoln and various associates from his arrival in Springfield until his presidency. They include Joshua Speed, William Herndon, John Hay, William Seward and John Nicolay...
Nancy Sheads
Nov 03, 2007 Nancy Sheads rated it liked it
Interesting how many people viewed themselves as close Lincoln associates, while Lincoln seem to see so few people as close personal friends. But not one of the better Lincoln books.
Sep 30, 2008 Zackery rated it liked it
An interesting angle to look at President Lincoln. The author researches the lives of those who became close with Lincoln through professional and family relationships.
Morry Beatty
Oct 14, 2012 Morry Beatty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-history
While Lincoln was very amiable and got along well with many, his close friends were fee and Sid have a big impact on his life. Donald takes a look at these relationships.
Andrew Glasgow
Dec 01, 2012 Andrew Glasgow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting melding of history and the psychology of male friedships. Herbert is one of the great Lincoln scholars so his observations and conclusions carry much weight.
Dianna LeFevre
On the whole, pretty boring.
Apr 06, 2007 Barry rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
just fair
Brian Eshleman
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Majoring in history and sociology, Donald earned his bachelor degree from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He earned his PhD in 1946 under the eminent, leading Lincoln scholar, James G. Randall at the University of Illinois. Randall as a mentor had a big influence on Donald's life and career, and encouraged his protégé to write his dissertation on Lincoln's law partner, William Herndon. T ...more
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