Elaine's Reviews > A. Lincoln

A. Lincoln by Ronald C. White Jr.
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's review
May 10, 2009

it was amazing
Read in April, 2009

I am a Lincoln buff and have read myriad biographies of the man, ranging fron his ardent admirers to his worst detractors. So, reading yet another one seemed redundant, but I did it anyway, and I'm glad I did. The first few pages start out with the usual retelling of his humble beginnings, but soon the revelations and insights begin. White searched through Lincoln's own notes to himself on every conceivable issue, and bases this new bio on them. Lincoln had a lifelong habit of writing down his thoughts, as well as pros and cons of every issue he was concerned with, stuffing the notes not only in cubbyholes in his desk, but in every nook and cranny, including his hatband.

Fortunately, after his death those notes were gathered by archivists. They are very revealing. For one thing, White chronicles Lincoln's religious thinking. For another, he puts to rest any notion that Lincoln was a racist in any way. As for his suggesting that freed slaves might be amenable to colonization in Africa, we find that this was a passing notion and that he consulted with African American leaders on the issue -- a very unusual thing to do in the mid-19th century! Lincoln also was the first President to invite an African American to the White House: Frederick Douglass, and Lincoln steadfastly insisted that all men are created equal applied to Africans as well as White Protestan landowners. This book is so well written, I couldn't put it down. Even readers who don't usually like non-fiction should enjoy this.
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07/08/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Brian (new)

Brian Souter Great review. Thank you!!

message 2: by Ray (new) - added it

Ray Mcgrath Your review makes me want to read it..... Thanks

Olga Levin Awesome review! I'm almost done with this book and it's my first complete bio on Lincoln. Never read anything about him until picking up this book. I'm sure glad I did. I hope to pick up reading Team of Rivals soon.

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