Lincoln: A Photobiography

Lincoln: A Photobiography

by Russell Freedman


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Abraham Lincoln stood out in a crowd as much for his wit and rollicking humor as for his height. This Newbery Medal-winning biography of our Civil War president is warm, appealing, and illustrated with dozens of carefully chosen photographs and prints.

Russell Freedman begins with a lively account of Abraham Lincoln's boyhood, his career as a country lawyer, and his courtship and marriage to Mary Todd. Then the author focuses on the presidential years (1861 to 1865), skillfullly explaining the many complex issues Lincoln grappled with as he led a deeply divided nation through the Civil War. The book's final chapter is a moving account of that tragic evening in Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865. Concludes with a sampling of Lincoln writings and a detailed list of Lincoln historical sites.

This title has been selected as a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades 2-3, Read Aloud Informational Text).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780395518489
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 09/25/1989
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 62,477
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.52(d)
Lexile: NC1040L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 13 Years

About the Author

Russell Freedman received the Newbery Medal for LINCOLN: A PHOTOBIOGRAPHY. He is also the recipient of three Newbery Honors, the Sibert Medal, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and was selected to give the 2006 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Mr. Freedman lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

1The Mysterious Mr. Lincoln1
2A Backwoods Boy7
3Law and Politics27
4Half Slave and Half Free45
6This Dreadful War93
7Who Is Dead in the White House?119
A Lincoln Sampler133
In Lincoln's Footsteps138
Books About Lincoln142
Acknowledgments and Picture Credits144

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A realistic, perceptive, and unromanticized photobiography of Lincoln, including a sampler of quotations from his writings and speeches." Booklist, Editor's Choice

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Lincoln 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful Newbery Winner. This book would fall under biography in the list of genres. It is a story of Abraham Lincoln from his young life in Kentucky until his last days as President of the United States. We learn about how Lincoln felt self-conscious of his lack of education and sometimes feared public speaking. Contrary to this, he was an excellent speaker regardless of his education and social status. Lincoln was self-educated and worked his way into a career as a country lawyer. We find out that his wife's family wasn't very approving of Lincoln's courtship to Mary Todd. After their marriage we gain an understanding of Lincoln as family man and the agony he suffered at the loss of his son Eddie, who was only three. This was probably a heartbreak that Lincoln never recovered from. This book depicts Lincoln as a hard-working, honest man with a sense of humor who strived hard to reach his goals. A man that stood up for his beliefs and helped change the course of history through the Civil War. After reading this book I gained a great deal of respect for ou fourteenth President. I purchased this book and intend to have my children use it as a future reference. There were many pictures that accompanied the text, which made the book even more enjoyable. This book was very well written and organized which made it even easier to comprehend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The North¿s hopes of winning the war are fading and it looks like slavery will never go away. After a series of bad generals, Abraham Lincoln finally finds a good one named Ulysses S. Grant. Lincoln and Grant lead the North to victory and abolish slavery. This book is a biography that tells about Lincoln¿s whole life. Lincoln goes from a country boy to the president. This was an outstanding book that shows what a great man Abraham Lincoln was. I like how the author gave a clear description of what Abraham Lincoln was like. He was a very tall, slender man. Abe had a bony face, and a solemn expression. For part of his life, he had a beard. But it wasn¿t his idea to grow it. A little girl wrote a letter to him and told him that he¿d look a lot more handsome with a beard. And he took the advice. Lincoln was an informal man. Before he was president, he would greet guests in a short-sleeved shirt and slippers. Abraham loved to read. He really liked poetry. Abe would always carry a book around and after he was done plowing, he¿d read. I learned that Lincoln had trouble finding good generals during the Civil War. One of the first generals for the Union was named General Irwin McDowell. He was supposed to lead his troops to Manassas, and then to Richmond. His troops met up with the rebels at a little creek called Bull Run. The Union lost badly. General George B. McClellan served later in the war. He trained his troops for months. Eventually, everyone grew tired of waiting for him to fight. Lincoln wanted McClellan to attack by land, but instead McClellan attacked by sea. He proceeded too slowly, and the rebels got time to ready their defense. Lincoln didn¿t have any better luck with General Henry Halleck. The General¿s ideas were good, but he had difficulty making decisions. I liked how the pictures helped me visualize the story. Both sides of the war had young soldiers. A photo shows a boy in a soldier uniform. He doesn¿t look like he¿s older than fourteen years old. You know that the Civil War was a gruesome war, but a picture in the book shows dead soldiers lying around at Antietam. John Wilkes Booth killed Lincoln during a play at Ford¿s Theatre. An illustration shows Booth running across the stage with a knife. It shows Lincoln slumped over in the balcony. This is a terrific book that you will learn a lot from, and it¿s very interesting. The story was very easy for a sixth grader to understand. Even if you didn¿t quite get the text of the story, there were pictures that would help you see different parts of history in Lincoln¿s life. This book also gave you a clear idea of why Lincoln abolished slavery. He felt slavery was unfair to African people, and was tearing the country apart. I¿d recommend this book to anyone who wanted to learn about one of the most important people in history. S.Howard
Guest More than 1 year ago
This books theme is a biography about President Abraham Lincoln¿s life. They say Lincoln stood out in a crowd with this wit and rollicking humor. This book is full of illustrations chosen photographs and prints. It begins with Lincoln¿s childhood, his career as a country lawyer and his courtship and marriage to Mary Todd. There where many complex issues he was dealing with like the Civil War and slavery. It tells about his final hours at the Ford Theatre on April 14, 1865 the night he was shot. The author of this book Russell Freedman is a nonfiction writer who prefers to be called a 'factual author.' He says that's because lots of people think 'nonfiction' is less interesting and less important than fiction. He chooses only topics that he is interested in and wants to learn more about. He likes to write about people in history who have character traits that stand out and make them memorable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Newbery, Freedman focuses on Lincoln as an individual. I was pleased to see so much space devoted to Lincoln's complex relationship with Mary Todd, the woman who became his wife. The misfortune this couple endured is sobering: the loss of Eddie and Willie at young ages, Lincoln's melancholia and spells of deep depression, as well as the strains of the Presidency. Who can imagine the suffering of trying to keep a nation together while millions of American boys died in combat? The strain Lincoln endured is beyond imagination. Freedman tries to have the young reader put themselves in Lincoln's shoes. This is an instructive technique. Freedman also devotes considerable time to Lincoln's special father-son relationship with Tad, and his account of the assassination is outstanding. Russell Freedman grew up in San Francisco and attended the University of California, and Berkeley. He now lives in New York City. Bibliography Freedman, Russell. Lincoln: A Photobiography. New York: Clarion Books, 1987.
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This biography of Abraham Lincoln presents a picture of Abraham Lincoln that is easily accessible to the younger reader, complete with photos and interesting details of his growing up years. The chapters covering his presidency and the difficulties of the civil war are particularly moving.
lp118825 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about Abraham Lincoln 's Biography. It talks him as a regular person and as a president. Though President Lincoln had many faults, he also had many strong points. I remember learning about him when I was growing up, but we never read anything exicting like this. It has black and white pictures in it. This book reveals that he was more like an everyday citizen.Classroom Extensions: I think I would have my students draw a portrait of President Lincoln. I would also have them make a timeline of his life.Personal Reaction: This book is fun and different, because when I was in school we never had biographies with pictures. Students will realize that President Lincoln was just like everyone esle.
jamie_tow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
" A spider of a boy" they called him. Throughout Lincoln's life he was known as a tall, bony legged man. Although he claimed he had forgotten his childhood, historians say he was born in a log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky on February 12, 1809. Thomas and Nancy named him after his pioneer grandpa, who had been killed by Indians while harvesting his crops. After many years Thomas Lincoln, who was a farmer, decided to move the family to Indiana. This was as Lincoln said "The hardest experience of my life." Abe and his sister Sarah attended a small one-room cabin school two miles away from their home. This was the only formal schooling he had. When Abe was nine his mother, uncle, and aunt all come down with the so-called "milk sickness" and died week later. A year went by until Thomas found another wife. He married Sarah Bush Lincoln, who was a great housekeeper and took very good care of Lincoln and his sister. She also brought three children to live with them. Lincoln learned to work hard at an early age. Later during his presidency he said "Work, work, work is the main thing." After that, Lincoln decided to look for work in New Orleans and then New Salem Illinois, In Salem, Lincoln studied law and decided to run for the state legislature. He lost but than ran again when he was 25 and became the second highest vote getter in the state so he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. At the age of 30, he moved to Springfield and met the love of his life, Mary Ann Todd. They were engaged soon after they met, but called the wedding off after Mary's sister did not approve of the marriage. Lincoln's friends said this period was the worst emotional crises of his life. On the 4th of November they told Mary's sister they were to be married, and they did that evening. The first child Robert Todd was born nine month later. Then Eddie was born in 1846. By the time Eddie was born Lincoln had opened his own law office and won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and moved to Washington. Eddie, not yet four, died in 1850. Later in 1851 Willie was born, when Thomas, who was nicknamed Tad was born in 1853. At this time, Lincoln was the leading Anti-slavery spokeman in Illinois. At the age of 51, he ran for President. He was elected on the 4th November 1860. In 1861 the death of Willie, who was only 11, really upset Mary. During Lincoln's presidency he accomplished a lot of things including the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation declared that ll slaves in confederate territory would be free. As President during the war between states, Lincoln agonized over the loss of life and the division of the country. He wanted preserve the democratic goverment of truly united group of states. On April 4th 1865 at the age of 56 was shot in Ford Theater by John Wilkes Booth. Although the President did not straight away he did die the next day.I think this book was written either for research purposes or to show the world what a great man Lincoln was. Freedman showed how Lincoln started from almost nothing and went to become President.I think this book is biased because Freedman only shows how great of a person Lincoln was and not any bad sides. This bias could be from nationalism. Everyone in the United States thinks his is a great man and Freedman could have gotten his bias from that. This book is an inspiring story about persevering under difficult situations. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know about Lincoln or who is researching him.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lincoln is presented here as I have never seen him, in both text and photographs. The details about him surprised me; I knew, of course, that he was extremely tall and had had a limited formal education, but I had no idea his voice was high pitched and that he had so much trouble finding a good general during the Civil War and that he was shy. I also loved the fact that though he had a total of a year of schooling he was able to read and study himself for two years and pass his bar exam. The Civil War years were a revelation. Poor Lincoln went through general after general who was afraid to act. And Lincoln¿s assassination was so unexpected, coming so close to the end of the war. I could really feel Lincoln¿s anguish in trying to figure out how to lure back the rebel states without cruelty yet also closing the door forever on slavery.
asousley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lincoln's life story starts from the beginning of his life and goes all the way to his last day that ended with an assassination. The book shows how his youth shaped his adulthood. The book tells about his accounts as a boy, his career as a lawyer, his courtship and marriage to Mary Todd. The book also tells about the many complex issues he had to deal with during the Civil War and tragic ending at Ford Theatre on April 14,1865. The book also has samplings of Lincoln's writings and pictures of different items of his time.Good book. While it is a good book to read, it also has pictures throughout the book to show different aspects of his life.A teacher can show that the life of Lincoln's was humble. Even though he had troubles and struggled at times he always seem to come out on top. Life will have ups and downs but we have to keep going and strive for the best.
jakdomin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This photobiography provides an illustrative account of several themes, including slavery, violence (dead soldiers, war, assassination), responsibility, and one of the most important figures in the history of our country. Being able to visually see where Lincoln came from, a ¿backwoods boy¿ in chapter 2, the choices he made, and what he stood for and died for will help children grasp Lincoln's character better than simply reading it. The book also shows kids that Lincoln was not just a president and the he came from an extremely modest background, perhaps an inspiring detail for kids in forming dreams and aspirations. One of my favorite pictures is the one of downtown Springfield (page 29) ¿where Lincoln practiced law¿ because it tells so much for the times (i.e. everything is made of wood).
MaowangVater on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This 1988 Newbery Award winner has a text as vivid and revealing as its photographs.
DianaHarger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book portrays the life of a former president, Abraham Lincoln. It represents him as a human and a great leader. Black and white pictures closely tell the story of his life. The author tells Lincolns life very vividly. I remember personally learning about his life when I was a student. This book would be good for a large group of young students. It uses short sentences and get directly to the point helping to keep young children interested. For extensions, I would have my students do a timeline of Abraham Lincoln's life. I would also consider having students draw a portrait, or color a picture of him as an extension.
goodnightmoon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly moving, yet simple and straightforward. The author uses excellent details, including plenty of Lincoln's own quotes, to masterfully draw us into often-simplified events, like the reasons behind the Emancipation Proclamation. Whereas I had started the book with a simple appreciation of Lincoln, I finished with a strong adoration toward him. Also, the vocabulary is rich and will stretch an upper-elementary reader in just the right ways.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this for school a few weeks ago and it was the best Lincoln biography i hav ever read. Not that i read Lincoln biographysall the time. But it was really good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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FredEM More than 1 year ago
Although pictures have been published many times before, the layout was concise, and orderly. It is a welcome addition to any Lincoln library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this for my Civil War Class, it was better than I expected...ironically, everyone else in my grade is a guy...I recommend this book if, like me, you were given a list of choices as to what books you could read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was easy to follow and understand. I have never been good with history but I really enjoyed reading this book. It explained parts of his life that the reader would find surprising. Every chapter had some new exciting information about Lincoln. The photos were good quality but it seemed there should have been more. I would recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman, to be a biography and picture book none the less, is a three star book. Quite honestly, I only read the book for my English class, but it proved to be decent. I'm not paticularly fond of biographies, and I partly feel books half-filled with pictures undermine my intelligence slightly. This was not the case with Lincoln: A Photobiography. Micheal Freedman picked out inteesting things rather than boring facts. He began each new chapter with a relevant quote by Lincoln himself. For example; when Lincoln was called two-faced by an opponet in a political debate he responded 'If I had two faces, do you think I would wear this one?!?!'. The book made good ol' honest Abe seem more human than ever before. He, in a sense, came to life right in the book. He was represented as a person with feelings, rather than a rather dull, for lack of a better phrase, dead guy. Most biographies are rather boring and straight-foward. The Lincoln Photobiography is by far the best portayl of Abraham Lincoln to date. It takes you from his dirt floored birth place, to his funeral persession, and even the after-life of his monument. You will never think of him as 'that dead president on the penny' again. Oh no, Lincoln did more for America than that. He freed slaves, and went out to the battle-fields himself to show his soldiers he cared, and help them fight for freedom. Abraham Lincoln is more than just the guy on the back of the penny, and this book is more than a Newbery winning biography.