The writing is excellent, the reading is good, if a little slow for my taste. The idea of looking at how Lincoln made a cabinet including the other major candidates for the 1860 Republican party nomination is interesting. And the mid-length bios of the others (Seward, Chase, and Bates) are valuable.
After Lincoln's inaugural, the book shifts gears and settles into a fairly traditional history of Lincoln's presidency. If you're interested in Lincoln, you might not find too much new in here. I was particularly bored to read once again about Mary Lincoln's redecorating, or to learn about the social scene in Washington. There is relatively little about how the cabinet interacted, or how Lincoln's political genus manifested itself, although that material is there.
If you take a quick look through my library, you'll see that I've listened to a lot of biographies over the years. "The Snowall," "Washington: A Life," "Andrew Carnegie," and so on.
Doris Kearns Goodwin has achieved something well beyond these others and has given us the best possible, multi-dimensional, view of our greatest president.
Where the average Biography (no offence guys, but it's true) reveals its subject, it usually does so through one perspective, with limited interaction from those surrounding this person through letters, and meetings and such.
Goodwin has written, in essence, the biography of not just Lincoln, but those surrounding him.
The result is a book which has brought the era alive more than anything else I have ever read/ listened to. Every Biographer can learn something from how this was written, for in no way has anything I have listened to since (while still very high quality) has achieved the sense that their subject was sitting in the room with you with five of his friends: telling you the real story. .
The narration is very well done (that is, it isn't over-done).
This is an admirable work that will stand the test of time. I highly, highly, recommend it.
The storytelling format and focus on multiple important characters.
Lincoln. The unrivaled political genius.
Lincoln. Female voice for a great female writer, brings a great male figure to life.
No. But only because its 45 hours long and it's best to fully ponder the momentous events over a longer time frame.
I am now literally devastated by Lincoln's tragic assassination. With congress now unable to pass even moral laws with the support of 90% of Americans we can't forget that the Civil War happened because of the evil of slavery, as well as the evil unwillingness of those Southern states to submit to the popular democratic will of the people at the federal level. Just a thought but can't we clone Lincoln somehow, then raise him in a similar way off in some cabin with actors portraying the characters the original Lincoln grew up with - then place him in charge of the nation when he's ready? The tea party would hate him more than they hate Obama!
This was by far the best book that I have read/ listened to in a very long time. The author does a beautiful job writing the book through the eyes of personal letters and writings from the people of the time period. This was by the most enjoyable history book that I have ever read.
A, "MUST HAVE!"
I've never listened to another book narrated by Suzanne Toren, but I found her performance only satisfactory! This is no fault of her own. The book covered such an important piece of Time in American History and involve so many complicated Personalities that, in my opinion the Narration needed at 2, if not 3 Narrators! This is only one person's opinion, because it must be said that Toren's narration was pleasing and quite satisfactory. I just felt that multiple narrators might have enhanced the performance !
Yes, be reminded of Lincoln's values and of what it means to be a citizen in a democratic society.
The leadup to and the reading of the Gettysburg Address. Despite my familiarity with the speech, hearing it presented in context and listening to Lincoln's simple, direct, and eternal message was inspiring all over again.
Hard to say.
Yes, at many points.
This is a well written and narrated accounting of the political genius of Abraham Lincoln. Doris Learns Goodwin keep the reader well engaged. Do not let the length of this book intimidate you. When it is over you will be wanting more.
An Audio book is really the only way I can get through a work like this because of time. I have not found a way to read a book and drive safely.
I was engaged in Lincoln's ability to "roll with the punches" and never allow the natural human response for animosity and jealousy to impact his relations with others. A great lesson for everyone.
I could listen to her all day and I did with this extensive work.
The love and devotion that Lincoln's "rivals" developed for him. How he could change their feelings for him and gain not only respect but devotion from those who initially had low opinions of him.
My first experience with Audible but certainly not my last! Thanks
Husband, father, building contractor, inventor and audio book lover.
This is an excellent addition of the other biographies and narratives of the civil war both post and pre. So much is added by the addition of the female perspective that Ms. Kearns Goodwin adds. I enjoyed the back fill of the stories of the men that shaped our country during such a crucial period of the formation of this country. The personality of Lincoln and his dogged principles are highlighted and fleshed out in such a manner as to complete our understanding of this great man, and his family. in a way not hitherto manifested in all the former works about him. I thoroughly enjoyed this reading and recommend it to any history lover out there.
Good, consistent voice work combined with in depth research on all the major players.
For the sheer volume of material I would recommend it to anyone who wishes a work of very broad scope.
The true revelation of the book was how deeply people's feelings ran for one another and were expressed in prosaic emotional terms that made correspondence among many professional colleagues appear, by our standards, to be effusive and eloquent love letters. Personal connections mattered to these men in ways we either do not feel or cannot express to one another today.
Perhaps this is due to what was available to the author but constant references to Lincoln's penchant and gift for storytelling made me want to hear more of these stories. I craved more specific examples of how his narrative abilities helped him manage situations. Then again, perhaps the author did too. There was one technical problem where a lengthy passage is repeated (Grant's Vicksburg campaign). Finally this lengthy work appeared to drift at times especially toward the end.