Lincoln, Life-Size

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An essential collection of photographic portraits of Abraham Lincoln, in a striking format, from “the foremost family of Lincoln pictorial scholarship” (Harold Holzer).

This unique and beautiful book captures an overlooked but vital aspect of Lincoln: his face. While he was known as an ugly man, and he even joked about that reputation, Lincoln’s contemporaries often commented on his striking features—on how animated he became while telling ...

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Overview

An essential collection of photographic portraits of Abraham Lincoln, in a striking format, from “the foremost family of Lincoln pictorial scholarship” (Harold Holzer).

This unique and beautiful book captures an overlooked but vital aspect of Lincoln: his face. While he was known as an ugly man, and he even joked about that reputation, Lincoln’s contemporaries often commented on his striking features—on how animated he became while telling stories, or how at more serious moments his face seemed to reflect his wisdom.

Taken across a span of nearly twenty years, from 1846 to 1865, these images provide us with a visual account of Lincoln’s intertwined political and personal lives as we watch him age and observe the toll taken by the Civil War in the final four years of his life. Here are a wide range of Lincolns—wise, bemused, melancholic, ruggedly handsome, downright homely—his complex character clearly evident in the changes in expression and affect these portraits capture. Each portrait is presented in both a standard size and in life-size, and is accompanied by a contemporaneous quote by or about Lincoln, enriching the story of his life as told through his continuously evolving image.

Offering an unprecedented window into Lincoln’s soul, Lincoln, Life-Size grants us a new appreciation of this extraordinary man and a glimpse of the force of character that made him great. It is a must for all Lincoln enthusiasts—and for anyone fascinated by our finest president.

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  • Lincoln, Life-Size
    Lincoln, Life-Size  

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307270818
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/3/2009
  • Pages: 187
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip B. Kunhardt III is a writer and producer and is currently a Bard Center Fellow at Bard College. Peter W. Kunhardt is executive producer of KunhardtMcGee Productions. Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., is assistant director of the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation. They are authors of Looking for Lincoln: The Making of an American Icon and, along with their father, the late Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Philip and Peter are authors of Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography.
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Table of Contents

Foreword: Lincoln, His Photographs, and Their Scholars Harold Holzer Holzer, Harold

Preface: Lincoln's Face Philip B. Kunhardt III Kunhardt, Philip B., III

Lincoln, Life-Size 1

Additional Portraits 164

About the Portraits 182

Text Sources 184

Selected Bibliography 186

Acknowledgments 187

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Lincoln, Life-Size...Almost, but not quite.

    The idea was a good one: Publish a book presenting photos of Abraham Lincoln in their original format, and then include an enlargement to life-size of the face of Lincoln appearing in each of those photos. In this presentation, sad to say, the idea just does not work.

    The first problem with this book is that the pages are too small to contain the full, life-size image of Lincoln's head, including all of his hair. Was it not the whole point to do just that? In failing to publish this book in a format large enough for the purpose, the effort to present Lincoln as he would have appeared in life necessarily fails.

    The second problem with this book is that it includes too many photos of Lincoln that are not suitable for enlargement of the face to life-size without blurring the image to the point of uselessness. Two of the most striking examples of this involve the photos of Lincoln at Gettysburg and in his coffin. The life-size face of Lincoln in each case is rendered as nothing more than fuzzy blotches on a page that cannot be of use to anyone not looking at that page from a great distance.

    The third problem with this book is that the blurbs that accompany each of the photos contribute nothing to the project.

    A few of the photos of Lincoln in this book do lend themselves to the accomplishment of the book's objective. Most notably are the June, 1860 Hesler portraits. The book would have better served its purpose if greater care had been taken to focus on only those photos which, when enlarged to life-size, are capable of providing more, rather than less, detail and information about the face of Lincoln. There are a few, too few, striking examples of this in the book. However, the book contains far too many useless enlargements of Lincoln's face. For the next edition of this book, those useless enlargements should be eliminated and greater attention should be directed toward, and more informative text should accompany, the useful enlargements. If this were done, it would probably result in a volume with far fewer pages, but those pages could then be made large enough to truly present the face of Lincoln, life-size.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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