Bad recording equipment picked up narrator’s breaths. Needs a pdf file for pictures.
I learned a lot but it was long. At times it dragged. A different author could have been more selective. I feel like Goodwin’s goal was to provide as much information as possible, so a historian would be pleased to find a diary entry that he had not read before. I stayed with it because it was good for me. I’m glad I read it, but it was not as compelling or engaging as I hoped.
At times the subject matter was depressing. So many deaths in that war. I admired the morality of northerners willing to support the war against slavery. I was surprised and admired how Lincoln got enemies and those with conflicts to work together. He always took blame so others would not look bad.
I was surprised at how cowardly some northern generals were. Lincoln could not find good generals. The ones he had were afraid to attack and afraid to chase. Most of the fighting was when the South attacked. In one case McClellan was ordered to move his troops to help another general. McClellan wouldn’t do it. At the same time Grant was out west fiercely fighting and winning. Lincoln was so happy to finally have a general who would fight, so he put Grant in charge of the whole thing. I was impressed with Lee’s brilliant military leadership in the south.
Also memorable was Lincoln’s desire to forgive. One of his cabinet members Chase campaigned against Lincoln for reelection and said negative things about Lincoln. After Chase lost, Lincoln gave another assignment to Chase because Chase was the best man for the country. Lincoln wanted to help the South recover after the war. He did not want to punish the South. Booth was so stupid to kill Lincoln. He was angry at freeing the slaves. But he killed the one man who would have forgiven and helped the South the most.
The awe of the Gettysburg Address. Reading it now in the middle of this book is so different from when I read it in high school. I have more understanding of what was going on, and it made the Address more powerful.
There needs to be a PDF file for audiobook buyers for pictures and illustrations that were in the physical book.
Suzanne Toren is a good reader for this book. But the recording equipment picked up her BREATHS. Her breathing was sooo distracting and sooo annoying. Recording people: Please solve this problem! I don’t hear other narrators breathing.
great majority of characters, including the subject, are male - the female narrator was probably chosen because the author is female - but her attempt to mimic a male voice when quoting something was painfully awful. should have had a male narrator - effective telling of the story is more important than matching the voice with the author!
should have been a male voice. I disliked her attempted mimicry of a male voice when quoting something a character said.
this book was not about Doris Goodwin's life!
I was surprised by the way this book pulled me in so quickly. The author's writing style made events suspenseful even though I knew from history what was going to happen. She built up the odds against Abraham so that you wondered how he accomplished what he did. You'll also learn a lot about his character and his contemporary's characters. The narrator did a fine job. With such a long book, it is important that the narrator's voice be expressive and easy to listen to and this narrator accomplished this with ease. Abraham Lincoln has become one of my heros as a result of this book. Beautifully done.
Deep, powerful, concise, and containing some excruciating detail of events during Lincoln's presidency, this masterpiece by Goodwin is more of an education than anything else. Upon completion, it is hard to believe that such a man existed.
The stories portrayed in this reading give are very well chosen and credit must be given for the plethora of vantage points considered. Well deserving of the Pulitzer!
Don't you just love a great story well told?
Having seen the Hollywood film I was very curious to see the exact details documented in print and curious to find if any were changed or dramatized for entertainment purposes.
If you are similarly motivated and that is the sole purpose for getting this book you will be sorely disappointed. This is a very good book. However, nearly every dramatic detail which made the movie so compelling are NOT explained AT ALL in this book! To say the Spielberg film is "based" on this book is more than a bit of false advertising.
It's a GREAT book, that cannot be denied. It is amazingly well researched, brilliantly written, and beautifully narrated. It has amazing details on Lincoln's life and that of all of his staff. A reader will gain an understanding of Lincoln as person and not just a mythical historical figure. It is a good read if you really want to understand Lincoln and to learn far more than you could possibly want to know about his cabinet. Take the title seriously, this book is about the men in his cabinet and their entire careers as much as it is about Lincoln.
That said, it was intensely disappointing to listen to all that and then let the 13th amendment and any politics surrounding it go relatively unmentioned. When the subject finally comes up, late in the 5th file, the amendment's passage is presented as a fait accompli. None of the backroom politics which are shown in the recent movie are described. I finish not knowing which parts of the film are factual nor where the information for the screenplay was obtained. (certainly not from this book)
It's not the author's fault that they chose to imply a film was "based in part" (which part?) on her writing. Still, I must fault the publisher greatly for doing so and, in turn, setting up very precise expectations. The book is great as long as you don't expect it to have anything to do with the film. If you listen expecting to hear even half or a TENTH of what you saw.... then you will be similarly frustrated. (Stars off for misrepresentation on the part of the publisher and because the lives of the cabinet are not as interesting as Lincoln himself)
Lovely voice, but not the right choice for this book.
The abridged version of this audiobook has a wonderful narrator and the story is fantastic. Very disappointed a different narrator was chosen for the unabridged version.
It was an accurate account of one of the most important times in the history of America. It was full of details that has never been revealed by any other author or book.
How Lincoln's magnanimous personality transcended his whole administration.
Her gift of presentation and knowing when to pause and how long to pause.
The true history of Lincoln.
Listening and loving it!
This book is masterfully done, expertly researched, and wonderfully read. The best analysis of the inner workings of Lincoln's presidency and character I have ever read, and I fancy myself a history buff. Lots of paeans to Lincoln have been written, as his was probably the most important presidency in the relatively brief history of the US. What makes this book special is that Goodwin puts Lincoln into context so thoroughly that it becomes easier to understand why he might have acted as he did, and what the consequences of his actions were, not only on events, but on those who came into contact with him. In a time of " me first" politics and politicians (and what times aren't?), Lincoln never let his ego override his objectives. A wonderful character study!
No...I spent the first 8 hours in a bored, agonized state waiting for the narrative to get better, as the ratings for this book are really high. However, between the finite details that were irrelevant and Ms. Toren's voice (she sounds like an IVR response prompt - for 8 hours), I couldn't handle it and moved to the 3rd volume to see if the story got better. It did not and I'm no longer listening to the book.
As with the other evaluators opinions, I feel the narrator of a story predominantly about an all-male cast should be a male voice. Ms. Toren's voice was intolerable after the first several hours.
The minutiae of detail about everything....readings from journals that described everything. When used properly it helps to paint a vivid and interesting picture of the times. When overused it becomes boring, annoying and uninteresting.
I'd like my credit back on this one....absolutely no value associated with this audio book.
Tell us about yourself! I love to escape into a good book.
This is a fascinating account of a critical and nation defining moment in American History.
The abolition of slavery. This book details the lives of the men and women who played such a prominent role in this period. This is no dry academic look at history, Goodwin makes the period and the players come alive to make this a real page turner. Lincoln forged a team that liberated a nation from the contagion of slavery. He truly deserves his place as one of the most admired presidents of the United States.
After you listen to the book I recommend you see the film Lincoln and the extraordinary performance by Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln.