Knopf, Hardcover, 9780307270818, 208pp.
Publication Date: November 3, 2009
An essential collection of photographic portraits of Abraham Lincoln, in a striking format, from “the foremost family of Lincoln pictorial scholarship” (Harold Holzer).
This unique and beautiful book captures an overlooked but vital aspect of Lincoln: his face. While he was known as an ugly man, and he even joked about that reputation, Lincoln’s contemporaries often commented on his striking features—on how animated he became while telling stories, or how at more serious moments his face seemed to reflect his wisdom.
Taken across a span of nearly twenty years, from 1846 to 1865, these images provide us with a visual account of Lincoln’s intertwined political and personal lives as we watch him age and observe the toll taken by the Civil War in the final four years of his life. Here are a wide range of Lincolns—wise, bemused, melancholic, ruggedly handsome, downright homely—his complex character clearly evident in the changes in expression and affect these portraits capture. Each portrait is presented in both a standard size and in life-size, and is accompanied by a contemporaneous quote by or about Lincoln, enriching the story of his life as told through his continuously evolving image.
Offering an unprecedented window into Lincoln’s soul, Lincoln, Life-Size grants us a new appreciation of this extraordinary man and a glimpse of the force of character that made him great. It is a must for all Lincoln enthusiasts—and for anyone fascinated by our finest president.
Philip B. Kunhardt III is a writer and producer and is currently a Bard Center Fellow at Bard College. Peter W. Kunhardt is executive producer of KunhardtMcGee Productions. Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., is assistant director of the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation. They are authors of Looking for Lincoln: The Making of an American Icon and, along with their father, the late Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Philip and Peter are authors of Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography.