Absolutely engrossing audio book. Excellent narration and writing make this one you literally can't put down. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The book is fact-heavy about Abe Lincoln's early years, which gets things off to a slow start. But later it is fact-heavy about the years leading up to and during his two terms as a wartime president which is really very interesting.
One particularly noteworthy thing about this author's Lincoln biography is his dissection of some of Lincoln's more important speeches. I found that much more interesting than I would have guessed and really enjoyed it.
How many of us can even pretend to live by this sentiment? How many politicians? In this day of virulent political bashing--even from the pulpit, how many clergy, even, can say this? So the story of this man, this ordinary, honest, rail-splitting, Father Abraham, alone rates five stars.
I down rate the narration simply because I feel the narrator attempted, but did not carry-off, the Hoosier twang or the Illionois accent: Lincoln must have had some combination of these (even Kentucky). But other than that, I thought the narrator, Bill Weideman, did a good job. I did not hear him breathe, nor did he swallow excessively...two of my real complaints too often.
Overall, I suppose, biographies have a need for repetition of the same or similar material in various sections due to then nature of the uses that students will put the volume through. If I could, I would deduct half a star here, but that is an Amazon feature.
USMC journalist, turned Embassy FSO, now USAF Web Chief
It's odd that when I look back, it seems the end of slavery was inevitable and that Lincoln was always a solid, steady embodiment of leadership.
Reading this book, struggling step by step with Lincoln as he makes mistakes, feels regret and anxiety, as he watches failure after failure on the battlefield, history seems very different.
Lincoln has also always felt too far from me in time and space, but this book makes me feel like I'm walking with him, talking with him, seeing him as an ordinary person, and feeling the pains of his failures and frustrations.
This book is so vivid and clear, so detailed and expressive. I forget I'm listening to a "educational" audiobook, because the storytelling nature of the narration is so fluid.
This is just a wonderful book - great literary quality as well as bringing history to the listener/reader. Great work.
This book was well-read and well-produced. The ideas flowed seamless into my mind.
The history behind this great man is fascinating but the book tended to draw too much on the details of the Illinois Legislature, and the US Congress rather than Lincoln the man. Certainly a good book if you want to the details of congress, but if you're looking to hear about Lincoln as a man, father, husband, and beloved President, you might want to get another opinion.
What I expected: a glimpse into the man we call Abraham Lincoln.
What I got: a blow by blow descripton of the politics and battles of the day during Lincoln's political career. There were rare glimpses into the human side of Lincoln - and they were frustratingly short and far between.
The narrator, however did a supurb job of creating changes in voices and in keeping an otherwise l-o-n-g story engaging. Overall, I'm glad I read it to the end. And it was a very l-o-n-g book.
This is serious history by an accomplished historian written in an enjoyable and accessible manner without sensationalizing or trivializing an American icon with whom we are already familiar.
He reads the book in a style compatible with a cinematic documentary which I thought to be appropriate and engaging.
Not possible for me to do
If you do not have the time or energy for Burlingame's magisterial work, this is the book to read and Weldeman does an excellent job.
I doubt I would listen to the book again but ONLY because it is so long. The story is very well told and Mr. Weideman's voice is very suited for this narrative.
Feeling the personal pressures and heartaches being brought to life that Mr. Lincoln suffered through both personally and politically/professionally. We know details of his Presidency, but to add in the personal side of what he went through was very eye-opening.
Tone and emotion. The emotion put into Mr. Lincoln's thoughts and comments truly bring Lincoln to life in a way that self-reading the book would not have done.
The death of the Lincoln's son and then so shortly afterward a dearly loved family friend was touching in a deeply almost invasive-to-their-lives feeling way. It was both perfectly written and read.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Civil War history or the life of Abraham Lincoln. The details given about those close to or involved with Lincoln either personally or professionally could bog the story down but they don't. They enhance and fill out this biography into a full-bodied story of not only a great leader but of a man with deep emotions and well thought out actions.
Only listened to the audio version.
I enjoyed the background given between Lincoln and his generals during the civil war. Also Mr. White does a great job giving you insight into the Presidents reasoning and thought process and how he came to decisions.
Yes, the different voices used when quoting a subject in the book was done very well.
Lincoln's letter to the parents of a young soldier who was killed early in the Civil War.
Well worth the long amount of time to listen to the book.
I usually really like biographies, but this one fell short. It spent way too much time describing every little detail of the civil war. I did manage to get through it, but most of the book was pretty boring.