I was hoping for a historical novel more along the lines of the Last Lion biography of Winston Churchill. But this was more like a children's history lesson. There was very little analysis or tying cause and events together. Just a listing of relative unrelated occurances. I listened up to when he ran for president and was very disappointed on the lack of insight as to how a relative unknown, unpopular man came to be elected as such a pivotal time. Very little analysis of how torn the country was at the time of the election. My son's Jr. High history book had more depth.
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.
Former Marine 4321, former State Department public diplomacy officer. Current USAF Public Affairs Specialist
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.
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.
Somehow I have found that I particularly enjoy listening to biographies. Up to now I have listened to books about Einstein, Steve Jobs, Robert Oppenheimer and Ivar Kruger. I really expected a lot from this biography and I wanted to like it and enjoy it. But it skipped over the years up to Lincoln's run for the senate and then went into a very detailed account of a series of debates and analyzed the speeches almost word for word. I am sorry to say that I gave up after having listened to the first half of the second part (there are four parts to this audiobook) so I did not even finish half the the entire book. I am not really sure whether I ought to write a review on a book I haven't finished, but I reckoned it is OK because I have a strong view on it.
A helpful retelling of the important forces and events in Lincoln's life. Artfully portrays Lincoln's true genius as a leader--more so that other biographers. A good reading, also. Thank you!
Absolutely engrossing audio book. Excellent narration and writing make this one you literally can't put down. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
What a complex man! What a well spent life!! Savior of the nation without whom it would have failed.
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.