You would be justified if you thought there are too many books about the Civil War & about Lincoln. I believe there are more books about Lincoln than there are about any figure in the western canon. So I looked askance at yet another one. Since I had read 2 other excellent volumes by Foner, including one I highly recommend about reconstruction, I took the dive.
Foner has produced something unique here. He has followed the line of the history of antebellum racism and thought about slavery, in general, and Lincoln's thoughts and actions about it in particular. There may not be anything 100% new in the book, but the way it is all put in one place, chronologically and with ample evidence, is what makes it a valuable addition to history.
Lincoln was both a man of his time and a professional politician. That has to be the starting point for any discussion of his views and actions about slavery in the United States. As Foner makes clear, Lincoln always had an abhorrence of slavery and unpaid servitude in general. Which does not mean he was not a racist by our 21st century standards. Lincoln was not the most anti-slavery man, or politician of his time ... had he been so, we would not know his name today, because he never could have become so prominent in politics nor become president.
Foner's accomplishment is to show how Lincoln's views changed over his career. From someone not terribly concern about slavery (in the 1840s, for instance) but still against it, to someone increasing concerned about it (in the 1850s) but mainly in the context of territorial expansion, to someone who gradually recognized it as the central cause of the war between the states. Along the way, Lincoln did drag along some of his cherished (and now repudiated) ideas, like the idea of colonization (which he held until late in his presidency in some fashion). And a habit of demeaning blacks in his manner of talking (like using the n-word and telling jokes). Highly recommended.
The reading my David Sedaris himself gave an extra oomph to an already very entertainining and thought-provoking set of essays.
I liked the mixture of the absolutely hilarious stories with the more serious ones.
This is another terrific history book from Lynne Olson. Even though I knew the general outlines of the period, 1936 to 1941, I certainly did not know all of the players, all of the factions, machinations, FDR's political jockeying and poll-watching, Lindbergh and his long suffering wife (and mother in law). Olson makes great use of all kinds of evidence, speeches, letters, newspapers, newsreels, movies and diplomatic dispatches to knit together the time in such a way that you feel as if you were there. The narrator is also very good.
The book is told by several protagonists and each has its own narrator.
It is a combination of a cultural novel, a human interest story, and a mystery story.
No particular favorite. The book is written so beautifully that you can identify with each protagonist.
I would have, but it was too long. But I did feel compelled to listen to it over and over to get to the end.
The audio edition is very entertaining & moves well. Excellent narrator. This is not the kind of book that has to be read in the traditional way, no crying need for referring to maps or photographs to follow along.
The author focuses on several women who were trying the be the first to swim the channel that summer, not just Gertrude Ederle, who was the one who did it first.
This is a very interesting story, but could have been dispatched in a long magazine article (e.g., New Yorker or Atlantic) rather than in a full-fledged book. If you are willing to tolerate wading through all these interesting facts, then the book could be to your liking. If you are, like me, sometimes impatient with extraneous material with little to do with the plot line, you may find it hard going.
The narrator was very good.
Yes, Evelyn Waugh is a poetic writer. Every sentence carefully crafted. A good book to read and a good one to listen to. I listened on my Kindle, while reading the book. Not simultaneously, but flipping back & forth. You get to see the elite life of Brits in the first half of the 20th century, and terrific character development too (especially the men).
This is one of the best long-play history/biography/nonfiction audiobooks I've listened to.
Robert Caro's multiple volumes on LBJ.
This Lincoln is not to be missed. The first half (first book volume) released early last year. And the second half (second book volume) this year. The author succeeds in bringing you into the time, if not day-by-day, close to that feeling. As if you are living it vicariously.
One of the top fiction works I've listened-to on Audible over the years.
Melville & Muller bring you through the exciting parts of the plot, and the intermingled encyclopedic parts about sailing, whaling & whales, without a hitch. When reading the book it is just far too easy to skip the encyclopedic parts even though the are a necessary part of the narrative fabric.
Very well read. Did not dip into artificial accents to depict the different characters. Something I have found annoying in other books.
This had already been a film, more than one. But no film could possibly do justice to this powerful & lengthy story.
Yes, it is a fascinating and convincing interpretation of evolution using contemporary, historical and archeological evidence.
I would have liked to, but it is too long for a one-sitting work. I was driven to get through by the power of the arguments and of the prose.
I would listen again. Goodheart does a terrific job showing what people actually thought & felt, mostly in the north, as developments built toward a Civil War most did not want or anticipate, and none felt would turn out as a 4 year bloodbath.
Usually we think about history, without much intellectual effort, as if the participants knew what was going to happen in their tomorrow, in their next year. And of course that is not the way things happen. Goodheart's strength is showing that.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.