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Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Two Volume Set)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Lincoln - A Life: As detailed as it gets.

If your looking for the most comprehensive biography of Abraham Lincoln, then this set is for you. I have found the test highly readable, and engrossing. My only complaint about this edition is it's binding. I think the binding is a bit thin in relation to it's size and...
If your looking for the most comprehensive biography of Abraham Lincoln, then this set is for you. I have found the test highly readable, and engrossing. My only complaint about this edition is it's binding. I think the binding is a bit thin in relation to it's size and weight, but that's just me. Otherwise, a biography of this depth was needed and Michael Burlingame satisfied that need.

posted by Blues on February 11, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Thoughts for the Next Edition

Not only are the books cheaply bound, but too much has been crammed into two volumes. The result is that the typeface is much to small and the margins much too narrow for comfortable reading. Adding to the discomfort thus created is the oversized and heavy nature of the...
Not only are the books cheaply bound, but too much has been crammed into two volumes. The result is that the typeface is much to small and the margins much too narrow for comfortable reading. Adding to the discomfort thus created is the oversized and heavy nature of the books. These factors are especially important when one looks to comfortably enjoy an important reading experience that this biography would have otherwise offered.The next edition should be a "triple decker" or perhaps even a four volume set, with a fine cloth or leather binding.

As to content, it is good to be presented with the facts of Lincoln's life in the writing style characteristic of the author. However, the author's insistence on offering his personal interpretation of those facts and his psychological analysis throughout the story he tells is an unwanted distraction. Those who are interested enough in Lincoln to be willing to invest the time necessary to read this comprehensive and informative biography presumably are also ready, willing and quite able, and interested enough in the subject, to take the facts and the story and figure out for themselves what to make of it all.The author of a book such as this should be invisible, and silent, as the book is being read. This reader, at least, would have preferred that the author not insist so often upon interjecting and chatting out loud, so to speak, in a manner that only serves to interfere with remaining absorbed in and undistracted from this fine Lincoln biography. Perhaps the next addition could address this concern as well.

posted by SBrizek on October 8, 2009

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  • Posted February 11, 2009

    Lincoln - A Life: As detailed as it gets.

    If your looking for the most comprehensive biography of Abraham Lincoln, then this set is for you. I have found the test highly readable, and engrossing. My only complaint about this edition is it's binding. I think the binding is a bit thin in relation to it's size and weight, but that's just me. Otherwise, a biography of this depth was needed and Michael Burlingame satisfied that need.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Thoughts for the Next Edition

    Not only are the books cheaply bound, but too much has been crammed into two volumes. The result is that the typeface is much to small and the margins much too narrow for comfortable reading. Adding to the discomfort thus created is the oversized and heavy nature of the books. These factors are especially important when one looks to comfortably enjoy an important reading experience that this biography would have otherwise offered.The next edition should be a "triple decker" or perhaps even a four volume set, with a fine cloth or leather binding.

    As to content, it is good to be presented with the facts of Lincoln's life in the writing style characteristic of the author. However, the author's insistence on offering his personal interpretation of those facts and his psychological analysis throughout the story he tells is an unwanted distraction. Those who are interested enough in Lincoln to be willing to invest the time necessary to read this comprehensive and informative biography presumably are also ready, willing and quite able, and interested enough in the subject, to take the facts and the story and figure out for themselves what to make of it all.The author of a book such as this should be invisible, and silent, as the book is being read. This reader, at least, would have preferred that the author not insist so often upon interjecting and chatting out loud, so to speak, in a manner that only serves to interfere with remaining absorbed in and undistracted from this fine Lincoln biography. Perhaps the next addition could address this concern as well.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    High price, cheap binding: for shame, JHU Press!

    I read the available reviews of the Burlingame Lincoln on BN.com before ordering a set, and at the time there was only one review that mentioned the flimsiness of the binding. I took a chance anyway and was very disappointed. The binding is indeed flimsy, to the point that the text block on volume 2 of my set was pulling away from the spine. The covers are light in weight and the whole thing just lacks the sort of solidity and permanence that one would expect of a major historical work from a university press. I didn't think the books would hold up to one reading, let alone a lifetime of reference and re-reading. For the price charged this is a shame. I took the set back to my local Barnes & Noble and got a refund.

    This is a shame, because I've read great things about this biography, and I would dearly love to read it. Paging through the two volumes and reading passages from them before reluctantly returning the set I could see that Mr. Burlingame did an impressive job. It is unfortunate that his publisher let him down.

    I would recommend that readers looking for a good - if much shorter - Lincoln biography pick up a copy of "A. Lincoln" by Ronald C. White, Jr. It is a new biography that also takes advantage of the latest research on Lincoln and has received rave reviews from the academic community and the popular press. It is well written and really held my interest. Readers who want to read one good biography of this fascinating man should be well pleased with Mr. White's book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    Very long & detailed GOOD REFERENCE BOOK

    Not a quick read. Very thorough. Well written

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Sexy piggy

    Hated it to much money

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

    This was a gift. I did not read it.

    The delivery was a complete fumble by UPS. I sent it to a friend at his office the address on the order was correct. UPS didn't even get it to the right building. Finally the recipient tracked down his present. I will try to get a review from him. I do know he is an avid reader and was happy to add this to his collection.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    For Die-Hards Only

    These two volumes perhaps deserve a 4 or 5 star rating based on content. I am a collector of books on Abraham Lincoln. And I surely would have done without this one. First and formost, these volumes have the cheepest binding of any book I have ever bought. I'm almost afraind of reading the books, as it appears that the books will fall apart. That must be why the pare of books come in a slip case, to hold all together once read. And at $125.00 this review deserves one-half star! Previous commentators have hit-it-on-the-head. Wait for a better binding and a 3 to 4 volume set. Or if Johns Hopkins isn't going to improve it, wait until you see it on the discount shelves.

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  • Posted January 7, 2010

    Michael Burlingame does it again!

    This is a very well written, thoroughly researched tome. A must have for Lincoln enthusiasts.

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  • Posted August 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good historical depiction

    There really is no fluff in this set. The author accurately describes the mood and reality of the times. His depiction is "neutral"...no bad guys or good guys, just the way it was. But, this is not leasure reading. This set is for folks who truely enjoy HISTORY, not a story containing historical facts.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Simply the best Lincoln biography

    Author Michael Burlingame has done an excellent job of assembling material here for possibly the best Lincoln biography to come along since people started writing about our 16th president. Newly-discovered material, or recently-released material, adds to the coverage in the book. I can't recommend this set enough. Fastest read through a large multi-volume set I've ever experienced, as it is interesting throughout. If you have only one work on Lincoln in your home library, I'd suggest this one.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Book binding

    The read is great and inspiring, Mr. Burlingame did a wonderful job. However; The book should have been put together better. There are many pages that were wrinkled or creased during binding, this to the point that, I almost returned these two great books.

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  • Posted April 3, 2009

    The Lincoln You Thought You Knew

    Burlingame fills in the blanks so that Lincoln is a man that stugggled just like you and I. Being hated during his presidency when he was alive is a stark contrast to how many view him now. THis book is about more than Lincoln the martyr,

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    Posted November 20, 2008

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