Thursday, April 11, 2013

New and Noteworthy In Paperback--- Abraham Lincoln, A Life In Two Volumes by Michael Burlingame

Abraham Lincoln: A Life, Volumes, One and Two,  Michael Burlingame, Johns Hopkins University Press, Paperback, Volume One, 1035 pp., 10 illustrations, bibliographic notes, index, Volume Two, 1048 pp.,  23 illustrations, bibliographic notes, index.  Each volume is $29.95.

In the first multi-volume biography to be published in decades, Michael Burlingame offers comprehensive and fresh look at Abraham Lincoln's entire life. Accessing the field notes of earlier biographers, and relying upon decades of his own research in manuscript archives with extensive newspaper collections, Burlingame as produced a remarkable work.  A fresh look?  Is that still possible?  Indeed, it is possible and it has been achieved. Abraham Lincoln: A Life both alters and reinforces readers' understanding of the sixteenth president.

Volume One presents Lincoln's early childhood as a farm lad in Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, his legal training, and his 1846-1848 term in the U.S. House of Representatives.  The volume through the end of 1860 as Lincoln chooses is presidential cabinet.  Volume Two begins with his February 1860 trek through the North and ends with his assassination in 1865. Military dilemmas, battlefield crisises, relentless office seekers, challenges from senators and representatives, the death of a son, stresses to his marriage are presented with new interpretations.

Published during the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, Burlingame's hallmark study reinforces his reputation as a thorough author of Lincoln's life and era.  Abraham Lincoln: A Life has been named as one of the top ten Lincoln books by the Chicago Tribune. The work has also won the 2008 Prose Award of Best Book in U.S. History and Biography and the 2010 Lincoln Prize from the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College. Readers who have enjoyed the narrative styles of Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote, will likely also enjoy Burlingame's Abraham Lincoln: A Life.

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