Abraham Lincoln (Paperback)

A Biography

By Benjamin P. Thomas, Michael Burlingame (Foreword by)

Southern Illinois University Press, 9780809328871, 576pp.

Publication Date: September 26, 2008

List Price: 24.95*
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Description

Long considered a classic, Benjamin P. Thomas's Abraham Lincoln: A Biography takes an incisive look at one of American history's greatest figures. Originally published in 1952 to wide acclaim, this eloquent account rises above previously romanticized depictions of the sixteenth president to reveal the real Lincoln: a complex, shrewd, and dynamic individual whose exceptional life has long intrigued the public.

Thomas traces the president from his hardscrabble beginnings and early political career, through his years as an Illinois lawyer and his presidency during the Civil War. Although Lincoln is appropriately placed against the backdrop of the dramatic times in which he lived, the author's true focus is on Lincoln the man and his intricate personality. While Thomas pays tribute to Lincoln's many virtues and accomplishments, he is careful not to dramatize a persona already larger than life in the American imagination. Instead he presents a candid and balanced representation that provides compelling insight into Lincoln's true character and the elements that forged him into an extraordinary leader. Thomas portrays Lincoln as a man whose conviction, resourcefulness, and inner strength enabled him to lead the nation through the most violent crossroads in its history.

Thomas's direct, readable narrative is concise while losing none of the crucial details of Lincoln's remarkable life. The volume's clarity of style makes it accessible to beginners, but it is complex and nuanced enough to interest longtime Lincoln scholars. After more than half a century, Abraham Lincoln: A Biography is still an essential source for anyone interested in learning more about the many facets of the sixteenth president, and it remains the definitive single-volume work on the life of an American legend.

 



About the Author

Benjamin P. Thomas (1902-56) was the author of Lincoln's New Salem; Portrait for Posterity:

Lincoln and His Biographers; and Stanton: The Life and Times of Lincoln's Secretary of War (completed after his death by Harold M. Hyman). For many years he was the secretary of the Abraham Lincoln Association.



Praise For Abraham Lincoln: A Biography

"A stirring story of a humble man who rose to greatness through his loyalty to his country's highest principles; a book from which adherents of democracy today may draw new inspiration." —Adlai E. Stevenson



"It is the best one-volume life of Lincoln ever written. And I'm not at all sure that that assertion needs the 'one-volume' qualification." —Chicago Sunday Tribune