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Lincoln and the Jews: A History

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  18 reviews
One hundred and fifty years after Abraham Lincoln's death, the full story of his extraordinary relationship with Jews is told here for the first time. Lincoln and the Jews: A History provides readers both with a captivating narrative of his interactions with Jews, and with the opportunity to immerse themselves in rare manuscripts and images, many from the Shapell Lincoln C ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  83 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
If Lincoln wasn't already my favorite president, he would be after I'd read this book.

Who knew that he was the first president to have Jewish friends and to work toward a more inclusive society by religion as well as by race?
Nathan Albright
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challenge2017
As someone who reads a lot of books about Abraham Lincoln [1], I am always looking out to see if a given book will tell me something I had not read or thought about concerning Lincoln as a man and as a president.  This book managed to do just that in an unexpected way.  What this book does is put Abraham Lincoln in the context of the troubled history of the Jews in America and demonstrate that at least some of the controversy that Abraham Lincoln has in some circles may be related to his obvious ...more
J. Bryce
Totally lying. I didn't finish it, but I recommend it anyway.

Chronicles Lincoln's life, focussing on his personal relationships with Jews, and the Jewish-American experience in the early-to-mid-19th century. Fascinating stuff, but I've got a few other irons in the fire and it's new, so I wanted to return the Library's copy.

Copiously illustrated with photos, lithos, and copies of personal letters between Lincoln and his Jewish friends and acquaintances.
informative and rewarding documentation of Lincoln proving again what an extraordinary individual he was.
Steve Bookman
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Intriguing and entertaining timeline, with copious illustrations and footnotes, of all imaginable interactions between President Lincoln and American Jews.
David Goldman

This work provides an parallel, complimentary narrative to the 
“standard” life of Lincoln that we grew up learning, while proving a fascinating insight into Jewish life and thought at time of of the Civil War. The book, written chronologically, can delve too much in details of a particular relationship and can lose track of the broader themes. Yet overall, it is clear, interesting, and worth the read (or the listen in my case).

As to Lincoln, he grew up with Jews only from the Bible, not knowin
Joe Kessler
Apr 23, 2021 rated it liked it
A quintessential deep dive into a narrow topic, this 2015 book on Abraham Lincoln's relationships with various Jewish Americans contains a lot of interesting information not often included in accounts of his life, but also a fair bit of padding that isn't entirely relevant to the stated matter at hand. I hadn't realized just how open-minded the president was compared to the typical antisemitism of his time, and it's heartening to hear how he personally intervened to allow rabbis to serve as army ...more
Tori Shenett
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best historically written books on President Lincoln, and all of his works. I've never come across a book that has had more documentation on him. The way this piece of art was written, it was almost as if Mr. Sarna had shadowed President Lincoln his whole life. ...more
Yvonne Wiggins
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very interesting read. I learned some new things about Mr. Lincoln. I recommend the book.
Nora Olmo
Alex Shrugged
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Lincoln and the Jews" is only one of a handful of history books on the subject. The illustrations are marvelous. The quality of the book in terms of holding it in one's hands is obvious. The text itself is well done. It is obvious that they author is willing to hit the points important to Jews, using the proper language... that is... just about any Jewish book includes some Hebrew, untranslated. (You are expected to know what basic Hebrew words mean.) For English-only readers it should be no pr ...more
Charles Shapiro
This is an excellent description of Lincoln's friends who were Jewish, his understanding of Jewish scripture, and events related to Jews that had a connection with Lincoln. It brings to light a fascinating relationship at a time when most Americans, especially politicians were openly hostile or totally ignorant of the Jews within their midst. The book suffers from repeating various stories in different places. I listened to the book so I did not see any of the illustrations, presumably the book ...more
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tana by: CBI
This is a magnificent, lushly beautiful book. Because it's a large "coffee table" type of book, I thought I would just glance through it. But when I began reading the text, I was captivated and hooked. I couldn't put down this compelling, well-written book, and I learned so much about Lincoln. The photos of historical documents on every page show the level of research done by the authors. I highly recommend this book. ...more
Apr 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Well researched, tells of Lincoln's history and dealings with Jews during his lifetime before and during his presidency. Making sure 'Hebrews' were represented on his cabinet, life long friendships and confidants. ...more
The Jewish Book Council
Review by Edward Shapiro for the Jewish Book Council. ...more
Chaim Shapiro
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional is the NORM for Sarna!
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book. Love the many documents reproduced. Recommend.
David Kuriniec
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Oct 28, 2015
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Aug 17, 2016
William Adler
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Apr 27, 2015
Yossi Hoffman
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Oct 05, 2020
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Oct 03, 2015
Connie L Collins
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Nov 27, 2016
Cherie Korer
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Oct 13, 2015
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Jan 02, 2020
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May 09, 2017
Samuel Rood
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Dec 27, 2020
Joyce Danis
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Nov 08, 2015
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Feb 22, 2020
Margie Blumberg
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May 14, 2015
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Jonathan D. Sarna is the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and chief historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History. He has written, edited, or co-edited more than twenty books and is best known for the acclaimed American Judaism: A History, which received the Jewish Book Council’s Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year ...more

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