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Six Of The Top Recent Books On Abraham Lincoln
Spring 2009 | Volume 59, Issue 1
Burlingame goes deeper than any previous biographer in examining Lincoln’s psychology. He scrutinizes Lincoln’s marriage and what help and harm it did him; how his years at the Illinois bar and as a local party hack sharpened his abilities; and how his mental development and life experiences ultimately prepared him for the ultimate triumph and catastrophe of his election to the presidency and the Civil War. This vast, profound book follows in the grand tradition of Carl Sandburg’s epic biography—albeit with far more fact and far less poeticized fiction in the telling—and will hardly, if ever, be surpassed. Like the idiosyncratically acute biography by Lincoln’s law partner, William Herndon, Burlingame’s biography will undoubtedly be hotly debated, but it will certainly become the paradigm and primary reference for all future endeavors to pin down Lincoln the man and leader.