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The Life Of Abraham Lincoln: (Henry Ketcham Classics Collection)

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

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    Review of The Life of Abraham Lincoln by Henry Ketcham

    I loved and thoroughly enjoyed this book! From start to finish, this was a very easy read, but highly enlightening work about the life of whom I consider to be our greatest President. It was every bit as informative to me as some of the more intellectual, modern academic works about Lincoln that have emerged over the years. A word of warning, though--it does not pretend to take a non-biased examination of the man's life. It does not even make any pretext of viewing its subject objectively. The author clearly views his subject with iconic admiration. The book also completely omits or quickly glosses over some very key historic events, particularly during the critical years of the civil war. It is unfortunate that Lincoln's meetings with Frederick Douglas are not even mentioned, and other important interactions with key people who played such vital roles in his life (such as his own wife Mary Todd, or his relationships with Edwin Stanton or Edward Bates) are only given a few mere sentences. Still, for a biography on such a complex, multi-dimensional individual, it does a good, overall job of covering not only one man's amazingly accomplished life of 56 years, but the torturous maturing of a nation trapped in its early stages of development by a completely unrealistic, idealistic vision that it could continue to grow and exist peaceably without dealing with the poisonous problem of the institution of slavery. If nothing else, Hank Ketcham's work should make you realize that no matter what may have been accomplished on the battlefield, it took the extraordinary will and resolution of one man, destined to be in the right place at the right time, to finally turn a predominantly favored white man's class-structured republic toward the long and difficult road of emerging into a modern democracy that still continues to influence the world today.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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