Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography

Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography

by Philip B. Kunhardt, Peter W. Kunhardt
     
 

The companion volume to the ABC television documentary. Abraham Lincoln, one of the towering figures in American history -- and his visage, reproduced as it was in the pioneer days of photography -- is a familiar and permanent part of our heritage. Now, in this extraordinary and beautifully illustrated book, we are given Lincoln as we have never seen him before. The… See more details below

Overview

The companion volume to the ABC television documentary. Abraham Lincoln, one of the towering figures in American history -- and his visage, reproduced as it was in the pioneer days of photography -- is a familiar and permanent part of our heritage. Now, in this extraordinary and beautifully illustrated book, we are given Lincoln as we have never seen him before. The text is written by Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., and his sons, Philip B. Kunhardt III and Peter W. Kunhardt, and is accompanied by more than 700 illustrations -- most of them drawn from the celebrated Meserve collection, which was assembled by a forebear of the Kunhardts. They include originals by Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and other leading photographers of the day, and vividly evoke the remarkable life of the great President. From his early days on the midwestern frontier, to his election to the presidency, to his four turbulent years as wartime leader, to his tragic assassination, we get a strong sense of the President, the military leader, the homespun politician, the family man, as we follow Lincoln's striking career. This unique pictorial biography amply demonstrates the courage, devotion to deep moral convictions, and qualities of leadership that have made Abraham Lincoln the man perhaps most admired by Americans even today. With a perceptive introduction by the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Herbert Donald.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This pictorial biography, a companion volume to a forthcoming TV miniseries, also stands well on its own. Most of the 900 illustrations are drawn from the Frederick Hill Meserve private family collection, a 19th-century photo archive that specializes in Lincoln material. Presented chronologically, the illustrations provide both a definitive visual record of Lincoln's life and a compelling view of the Civil War from the president's perspective. The text, by Meserve's grandson, former Life managing editor Philip B. Kunhardt Jr., and his two sons, relies heavily and effectively on quotations from Lincoln and his contemporaries. The book presents not an icon, but a man who "wrote like a poet, laughed like a hyena, and cried real tears.'' His consuming struggle to preserve the Union eventually led him to redefine its promises and extend its freedoms in ways that determined America's future. This work convincingly sustains and enhances Lincoln's position as a dominant moral figure of our history.
Library Journal - Library Journal
The mystique surrounding Abraham Lincoln takes to the airwaves this fall in a documentary to be broadcast as a four-part ABC miniseries. Designed to accompany the TV series, this generously illustrated biography includes 900 photographs, daguerreotypes, drawings, paintings, and sketches depicting Lincoln from his Illinois youth, early public career, White House years, and the Civil War. While the volume is a major tribute to the 16th president, it also stands as evidence to the pursuits of Frederick Hill Meserve, who began collecting the photographs that are the book's basis. First his daughter and then his grandson, Philip Kunhardt Jr., continued his obsession. Subsequently, the latter's two sons, Philip III and Peter, were also intrigued by Lincolniana. The three male Kunhardts authored the text, and Peter is the creator of the TV documentary. Their tribute to Lincoln intersperses an engaging anecdotal narrative with pictures representing his saga and tragedy. Reasonably priced for a photographic volume, Lincoln is highly recommended for all libraries.
--Boyd Childress, Auburn University Library, Ala.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
The companion volume to an ABC television documentary, this splendid pictorial biography is filled with photographs, portraits, and illustrations of Lincoln, his family, and his contemporaries. Many of them, including original works by Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner, are from the famous Meserve Collection, a major repository of Civil War and Lincoln memorabilia. The textual accompaniment features many of the subject's own words as well as eyewitness accounts, which are set off in shaded areas. Each month of Lincoln's presidency is given a double-page spread devoted to pictures of the significant and ordinary people he encountered during that time period. A detailed bibliography gives references to primary sources and literature that would be helpful to serious and interested researchers.
-- Nancy Bard, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
Brad Hooper
Our sixteenth president continues to fascinate, as well he should. Witness, for instance, Garry Wills' recent Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America , an essay on the power of the president's brief speech at Gettysburg in 1863, which has garnered considerable popular and critical attention. Lincoln was larger than life, Lincoln was as human as the man next door; the combination draws us back to reading about him time and time again. This autumn, in fact, a miniseries about Lincoln will air on ABC, and being published as a companion to the four-hour program is this lush pictorial biography. The photographs reproduced here, arrestingly arranged across oversize pages, were drawn from the archives of a major Lincoln repository, and the textual accompaniment borrows passages from A.L.'s own letters and speeches, as well as from diaries of his contemporaries. Carl Sandburg divided the volumes of his monumental biography of Lincoln into two parts, "The Prairie Years" and "The War Years", and we continue to view the great man's life in that bipartite way. Indeed, both parts are illustrated here in an intimate, you-are-there approach. Scholars and generalists alike will be absorbed by the splendid visual presentation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679408628
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/20/1992
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
415
Product dimensions:
9.57(w) x 11.18(h) x 1.48(d)

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