The Life of Abraham Lincoln [NOOK Book]

Overview

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led the country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserved the Union, and ended slavery. Reared in a poor family on the western frontier, he was mostly self-educated. He became a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, and a one-term member of the United States House of Representatives, but failed in two ...
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The Life of Abraham Lincoln

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Overview

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led the country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserved the Union, and ended slavery. Reared in a poor family on the western frontier, he was mostly self-educated. He became a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, and a one-term member of the United States House of Representatives, but failed in two attempts at a seat in the United States Senate. He was an affectionate, though often absent, husband, and father of four children.
Lincoln was an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States, which he deftly articulated in his campaign debates and speeches. As a result, he secured the Republican nomination and was elected president in 1860. As president he concentrated on the military and political dimensions of the war effort, always seeking to reunify the nation after the secession of the eleven Confederate States of America. He vigorously exercised unprecedented war powers, including the arrest and detention, without trial, of thousands of suspected secessionists. He issued his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and promoted the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery.
Lincoln closely supervised the war effort, especially the selection of top generals, including Ulysses S. Grant. He brought leaders of various factions of his party into his cabinet and pressured them to cooperate. He defused a confrontation with Britain in the Trent affair late in 1861. Under his leadership, the Union took control of the border slave states at the start of the war and tried repeatedly to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond. Each time a general failed, Lincoln substituted another, until finally Grant succeeded in 1865. A shrewd politician deeply involved with patronage and power issues in each state, he reached out to War Democrats and managed his own re-election in the 1864 presidential election.
As the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican party, Lincoln came under attack from all sides. Radical Republicans wanted harsher treatment of the South, Democrats desired more compromise, and secessionists saw him as their enemy. Lincoln fought back with patronage, by pitting his opponents against each other, and by appealing to the American people with his powers of oratory; for example, his Gettysburg Address of 1863 became one of the most quoted speeches in history. It was an iconic statement of America's dedication to the principles of nationalism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy. At the close of the war, Lincoln held a moderate view of Reconstruction, seeking to speedily reunite the nation through a policy of generous reconciliation in the face of lingering and bitter divisiveness. Just six days after the decisive surrender of the commanding general of the Confederate army, Lincoln fell victim to an assassin — the first President to suffer such a fate. Lincoln has consistently been ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940012087577
  • Publisher: Cherry Lane Ebooks
  • Publication date: 1/19/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • 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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