Lincoln

Lincoln

4.5 25
by Gore Vidal
     
 

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Lincoln is the cornerstone of Gore Vidal's fictional American chronicle, which includes Burr, 1876, Washington, D.C., Empire, and Hollywood. It opens early on a frozen winter morning in 1861, when President-elect Abraham Lincoln slips into Washington, flanked by two bodyguards. The future president is in disguise, for there is talk of a plot to murder him. During the

Overview

Lincoln is the cornerstone of Gore Vidal's fictional American chronicle, which includes Burr, 1876, Washington, D.C., Empire, and Hollywood. It opens early on a frozen winter morning in 1861, when President-elect Abraham Lincoln slips into Washington, flanked by two bodyguards. The future president is in disguise, for there is talk of a plot to murder him. During the next four years there will be numerous plots to murder this man who has sworn to unite a disintegrating nation. Isolated in a ramshackle White House in the center of a proslavery city, Lincoln presides over a fragmenting government as Lee's armies beat at the gates. In this profoundly moving novel, a work of epic proportions and intense human sympathy, Lincoln is observed by his loved ones and his rivals. The cast of characters is almost Dickensian: politicians, generals, White House aides, newspapermen, Northern and Southern conspirators, amiably evil bankers, and a wife slowly going mad. Vidal's portrait of the president is at once intimate
and monumental, stark and complex, drawn with the wit, grace, and authority of one of the great historical novelists.
   With a new Introduction by the author.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
"The novel is masterfully constructed, right down to a shocking but logical surprise on the last page," said LJ's reviewer, who gushed further, adding, "The familiar figures and stock scenes when we encounter them here are fresh, new, and utterly absorbing. Vidal has made a century and a half seem but a heartbeat from today" (LJ 11/1/73). With the world focusing on the current round of political shenanigans emanating from Washington, this should retain its popularity. Note that Modern Library is also releasing Vidal's Lincoln (ISBN 0-679-60284-4. $21).
From the Publisher
"Superb . . . a grand entertainment. . . . A plausible and human Lincoln, of us and yet beyond us." —Harold Bloom

"A portrait of America's great president that is at once intimate and public, stark and complex, and that will become for future generations the living Lincoln, the definitive Lincoln. . . . Richly entertaining . . . history lessons with the blood still hot." —The Washington Post

"[Lincoln] is in Vidal's version at once more complex, mysterious and enigmatic, more implacably courageous and, finally, more tragic than the conventional images, the marble man of the memorial. He is honored in the book." —Chicago Tribune

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307784230
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/13/2011
Series:
Vintage International
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
672
Sales rank:
115,731
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Superb . . . a grand entertainment. . . . A plausible and human Lincoln, of us and yet beyond us." —Harold Bloom

"A portrait of America's great president that is at once intimate and public, stark and complex, and that will become for future generations the living Lincoln, the definitive Lincoln. . . . Richly entertaining . . . history lessons with the blood still hot." —The Washington Post

"[Lincoln] is in Vidal's version at once more complex, mysterious and enigmatic, more implacably courageous and, finally, more tragic than the conventional images, the marble man of the memorial. He is honored in the book." —Chicago Tribune

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Lincoln 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, this is the most accurate depiction of Lincoln, the man. Lincoln was truly one of the greatest Presidents America has ever had, besides Washington, and FDR.. No one has ever used the power of the presidency, like Lincoln, before or since his time. He keep the union together by means that were viewed as controversial, border line dictatorial in nature. Lincoln truly was a gifted insightful man, who drew strength from opposition, with a fortitude to face any challenge. Lincoln had a meek strenght that was not understood until after his death..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to confess that when I purchased this book I didn't realize it was historical fiction. Nonetheless, this book delivers a unique view of the challenges that Lincoln's presidency faced and blows up stereotypes of the man. Once immersed, I couldn't help but wonder how much was based on historical fact and how much was conjecture on Gore Vidal's part. I longed for footnotes despite Vidal's assertion that "All of the principal characters really existed, and they said and did pretty much what I have them saying and doing..." Gore Vidal delivers a flesh and blood portrait of Lincoln in a way that a dry, biographical tome cannot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The research for this book is incredible. I've read this book ten years ago. I still enjoy reading this book still after ten years. This is an absolute incredible book.I promise you will injoy reading this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a remarkably palatable alternative to the standard biographies one often trudges through. Thanks to historical sources, along with Gore Vidal's creativity, Lincoln is placed squarely in his own time period, where he is judged based on the norms of those days. At times, I found myself shocked that I was reading about the man on the bill in my wallet, but that starkness and realism is just the reason the 'real' Lincoln becomes much more accessible in this novel. I went from idolizing Lincoln, to being disappointed that he fell short of legend, and finally to idolizing him again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first received this book from my mother as a Christmas gift back in 1984, when I was 15. I have read it 3 times since then, and still love it. This book shows Lincoln in all his humanity and greatness from dealing with his crazy wife Mary, to fending off political rivals such as Salmon Chase, and evolving from a committment to hold the union together to one ending slavery as well. An excellent compliment to David Donald's book on Lincoln
Holz More than 1 year ago
While Vidal's "Lincoln" is a novel, it is excellent history that complements Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals" with a fascinating account of Lincoln's mastery in leading his Cabinet as well as the Nation as the Union was preserved. This is the best of the Gore Vidal historical novels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Generally, I prefer my history in non-fictional form. However I have read Gore Vidal's take on Lincoln's war years twice now. To me, it is a tremendously enjoyable portrayal of Lincoln from a human perspective. I've also read various other nonfiction treatments, such as Carl Sandburg. Vidal's 'Lincoln' is fascinating because like most fine historical fiction, it brings the character to life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had mixed feelings about the book. I think it's very difficult to write a book about a man who is almost mythical (not a great word) to many Americans, and make him 'real.' I think we like to idealize him, make believe that he didn't have ordinary conversations, spoke to his wife playfully--in essence, do the things that everyone else does. I think Vidal had a good purpose, and I think it probably came across well (though I didn't get far in the book), but I couldn't get over my own ideas of Lincoln the President, the Emancipator, the War Leader, and Hero of the (then) Republican party. Having been a history major, I think I prefer to look at Lincoln through his own words.
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I love Abe Linclon, he is one of my favorites. Read this book, stay free
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Great read. really enjoyed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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