Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years by Carl Sandburg Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years

Civil War and history buffs–as well as all lovers of fine writing–will delight in the detail and accuracy of Carl Sandburg’s definitive, best-known biography of Honest Abe. Representing a lifetime of study by the great American poet, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years distills Sandburg’s monumental six volume set into a single one-book edition. By glean

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    Riley

    Jan 17, 2013

    rated it
    really liked it

    It is easy to see why Carl Sandburg’s account of Abraham Lincoln is so beloved, since it focuses so much on Lincoln the folk hero. I enjoyed this book a lot, though its style (kind of a Thomas Wolfe rip off) got on my nerves after a while.

    Two Lincoln anecdotes I highlighted, which give a good sense of the book’s tone:

    “Protests of innocence often came from men plainly guilty. They reminded Lincoln of a governor who visited a state prison. The convicts one by one had the same story of innocence an

    Two Lincoln anecdotes I highlighted, which give a good sense of the book’s tone:

    “Protests of innocence often came from men plainly guilty. They reminded Lincoln of a governor who visited a state prison. The convicts one by one had the same story of innocence and of wrongs done them. At last the governor came to one who frankly said he had committed a crime and the sentence given him was perfect justice. ‘I must pardon you,’ said the governor, ‘I can’t have you here corrupting all these good men.'”

    And:

    “Six days after the Fort Pillow massacre Lincoln spoke at a Sanitary Fair, reminded his Baltimore soldiers that in looking out on so many people assembled to serve the Union soldiers, the fact was that three years earlier the same soldiers could not so much as pass through Baltimore. ‘We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word, we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor … The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces his for the same act as a destroyer of liberty, especially as the sheep was a black one. Plainly the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon the definition of the word liberty; and precisely the same difference prevails today among us human creatures, even in the North, and all professing to love liberty …'”
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    Len

    Jan 21, 2008

    rated it
    it was amazing

    Look, there are obviously lots of Lincoln biographies out there, and I have read many of them, but after having read this book, I have concluded that the others are merely imitations of Sandburg (some of them very good imitations, certainly, and worth your time, but imitations nonetheless).

    Consider that this book is a condensed version of Sandburg’s six-volume (!) biography of Lincoln, and you realize that its level of detail is merely suggestive of the detail to be found in the six-volume set.

    Steven Peterson

    Dec 11, 2009

    rated it
    really liked it

    This is a biography of Lincoln by the esteemed poet Carl Sandburg. I was born just up the road, US Route 34 (in Kewanee), from his home town of Galesburg, Illinois. Thus, I have always had a soft spot for this version of Lincoln’s life

    As a poet, Sandburg’s version tends to be more epic and mythical–and less critical–in its examination of Lincoln. For all of that, the book still works well. The first part, “The Prairie Years,” recounts Lincoln’s youth and early career before he attained the pr

    As a poet, Sandburg’s version tends to be more epic and mythical–and less critical–in its examination of Lincoln. For all of that, the book still works well. The first part, “The Prairie Years,” recounts Lincoln’s youth and early career before he attained the presidency. The story, of course, starts with his family settling in Kentucky, where Lincoln was born in 1809. Later, he moved with his family to Illinois. Lincoln began in New Salem and later moved to Springfield. Sandburg’s depiction of his development, to becoming a practiced attorney, his political ambitions, his brief time in the militia, lays out the standard treatment of Lincoln, written extraordinarily well. Many anecdotes dot the volume. We see his doomed relationship with Ann Rutledge and his rocky courtship of Mary Todd. The discussion of his famous debates with Stephen Douglas in the Senate Campaign that brought him national visibility (and rendered him viable as a potential presidential candidate) is well told.

    Then, the work goes on to explore his place in the Civil War. The volume speak poignantly of the family tragedy that he experienced (the death of a child is always difficult), the strained relationship with his wife, the challenges of orchestrating the Union’s war effort.

    In a sense, this is a poetic, lyric, romanticized view of Lincoln. It could scarcely be anything else, I think, given Sandburg’s perspective. Nonetheless, for that, this is still a compelling work and worth a read.

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