Alan Kaplan's Reviews > Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times

Abe by David S. Reynolds
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it was amazing

Abe is a phenomenal book about our 16th President. While long, very long it is an easy and compelling read. I had no intention of reading it until I saw a review in the WSJ. I am glad that I did. Even though it is 900+ pages it was a pleasure to read. Abraham Lincoln was probably our greatest President. While initially opposed to only the expansion of slavery to the new territories, he was able to politically maneuver the country to totally abolish slavery. Abolishing slavery was not the goal of the North prior and during the Civil War. The North only wanted to save the Union. Lincoln saved the union, there is no question about this. His story is amazing. He was really born in a log cabin on the Kentucky frontier in 1809. His mother died when he was very young, and he had a difficult relationship with his father. Lincoln, was for the most part, self taught by candle light. Schooling was optional because he had to work to support his family and himself. While being modestly formally educated, his Gettysburg Address and his 2nd Inaugural Speech are the equal of any politician's speeches, and they can still thrill with their rhythms and cadences. How Lincoln became President is in itself an amazing story. In 1860, four people ran for President. Lincoln won the Electoral College with a majority but only a plurality of the votes. I cannot imagine what would have happened to the country if someone else had become President. We are still dealing with the echoes of slavery. What would have happened to this country if slavery had continued to exist? I can tell a good biography if I am sad at the end. While everyone knows that John Wilkes Booth murdered Lincoln with a cowardly shot in the back, I was dreading reading about it. I simply did not want it to happen, and I wonder how different the country would be if a strong Lincoln could have presided over the Reconstruction of the South.
Anyone interested in American History should read this book to see how we have overcome our significant differences in the past. We need a Lincoln today.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 18, 2020 – Finished Reading
December 8, 2020 – Shelved

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