Absolutely amazing. Doris Kearns Goodwin's narrative of the political genius, magnetic personality, and overwhelming empathy of Abraham Lincoln is an astounding work of both scholarship and literature. Delving deep into federal, state, and personal archives, and grappling continually with both the accounts of his contemporaries and the scholarship since, Goodwin has woven a beautiful, powerful, and compelling story which does due justice to Lincoln as a statesman, commander, and (most importantly) a person. The miniature narratives within the larger piece, laying out the peculiarities and personalities of the other players (Seward, Stanton, Chase, Bates, Welles, and Blair, primarily), rather than distracting from the central character, add a depth and versatility to the story which explain many of Lincoln's actions--and in doing so enhance the reader's understanding of this singularly great man.
Moreover, the performance by Suzanne Toren is equally impressive, managing a pace and tone which complement Goodwin's prose. Recognizing Lincoln and others' ability to find humor in the darkest of situations, and to move between gravity and comedy as is best needed by the situation, Goodwin and Toren convey the liveliness and humanity, as well as the superhuman capabilities, of these great players of the Civil War.
Those interested in the Civil War, history of the Constitution, the political life of the nation, or in Lincoln will both appreciate and thoroughly enjoy this book; and, if one also enjoys a good audio book, this also comes highly recommended.
To say I loved this book would be an understatement. I enjoy history but by no means consider myself a student of history, but this story awoke in me an intense interest in this period of our country's history and the history of the office of the President. This account of the life of Lincoln has unlocked for me a love of history I did not know existed. Incredible man, incredible life, incredible circumstances and Doris Kearns Goodwin captures it all. Don't be scared off by the length of the book, it will fly by. Do it!
Yes, it's a great book, it's just too dense to listen to, I'd rather read it.
So this is a long book (41 hours) and I listened almost incessantly the last week. In contrast with a recent book about Churchill which felt like a chore and took me months to get through, I found this very engaging. It was interesting to get the different perspectives and comparisons with Lincoln's associates. I would right peers, but the man was peerless. After listening to this I am thinking of getting the audio book of Lincoln's debates with Douglas. His word choice was so specific and reasoned arguments are something to learn from. If I could demonstrate his level of empathy and thoughtfulness I would be better for it.
The 1st part where you are taken through the background of the cabinet members is a boring but necessary trip. Once past this the book does not fail to please. You gain a lot of respect for this President.
I am an eclectic person who loves to learn.
I could listen to this book over and over and never tire of the subject. It so very well written,researched, and read. Absolutely a stunning look into the time of Lincoln. I will never look at President Lincoln the same way again. This story is so important to being an American.
The film was already made of only a part of the book. Another movie could easily be made about Lincoln's journey to becoming President. This movie would not need a tag line. Lincoln's name is strong enough to attract an audience.
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!
We need to learn how to use teams of rivals in our work today. It is a skill true leaders must aspire to.
Situation after situation demonstrates what it means to have an internal moral compass.
This book would generate excellent discussions if read in a book club or book group.
Ms Goodwin is brilliant in including the stories of the Rivals along with Lincoln's. It was fascinating to learn of the lives and times of some of the most important people in and near our government at that critical time, as well as the various schools of thought. The book brought to the fore Abraham Lincoln's genius and greatness. Ms Toren's voice was a pleasure to hear. My life is enriched for having listened to this book. I will now buy the hard copy (which I wish I had while listening) to peruse from time to time.
S Toren's voice is sophisticated and most pleasing - I looked forward to hearing it as I do certain pieces of music, She is facile in her pronunciation of complicated or unusual words including French. Her voice changes in tempo, softness/loudness to fit what she is reading.
This book was too long to listen to in one sitting - although very had to put down. I listened to it at every opportunity and was sad when it ended.
Guess I'm in the minority, but was WAY less impressed than most "readers". Thought there was too much unimportant detail. I definitely learned why Lincoln was so great a man, but had expected as good a biography as Truman or Katherine Graham, but was anxious for book to end, and didn't mind quickly grazing over sections.