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The Lincolns Audiobook

The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage

In 1974 the historian Fawn Brodie predicted that a "sensitive study of the Lincoln marriage will not always defy biographers". Until now, it has. The only book-length treatment of the marriage was published in 1953, when scholars lacked today's resources and were still struggling with deep-seated prejudices about Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln. Now Daniel Mark Epstein has produced an incisive and balanced portrait of the Lincolns.
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Publisher's Summary

In 1974 the historian Fawn Brodie predicted that a "sensitive study of the Lincoln marriage will not always defy biographers". Until now, it has. The only book-length treatment of the marriage was published in 1953, when scholars lacked today's resources and were still struggling with deep-seated prejudices about Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln.

Now Daniel Mark Epstein has produced an incisive and balanced portrait of the Lincolns, from their mysterious and troubled courtship in 1840 to his assassination in Ford's Theatre in 1865. For the first time, we can feel the full force of the tragedy that was the slow crumbling of their marriage, knowing it intimately from the first act to the last.

©2008 Daniel Mark Epstein; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America

What the Critics Say

"Intent on eroding the stereotype that Mary was mad and Abraham was saintly, Epstein utilizes some new sources to create a portrait of the Lincolns' marriage. In coolly objective tones, Adam Grupper narrates Epstein's detailed account of the couple's early years.... His informative reading fits the text well." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 01-05-13
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 01-05-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "American Gothic"

    It is difficult to conceive of circumstances more likely to strain a relationship than that endured by the Lincolns during their 22 year marriage, beset as they were by tragedies both personal and national. Add to this the unstable personality of Mary Todd and that of Lincoln who appears to have been prone to depression in an era predating any real understanding of psychiatry, and you have a portrait of a marriage of true affection and interdependence marred by periods of intense strife and mistrust.

    In some respects the Lincolns' marriage seems a microcosm of the Civil War which racked the nation during Lincoln's presidency. In both cases we can see a Lincoln committed to a union between two parties whom he believed belonged together--two parties who were stronger together than apart. And in both cases his compassion and affection far outweigh his frustration and anger at the "rebellious" party. As for Mary, despite her fears, insecurities and emotional/mental instability, we can see that her commitment to her husband and what he stood for was total, if at times misguided.

    The author does an excellent job of collecting all available evidence of the character of the Lincolns' relationship and the characters of Mary Todd as wife and Lincoln as husband. The book drags a bit in the years covering the period between the Lincolns' marriage and Lincoln's election as President, and the narration is serviceable though lackluster. Overall however, this book is recommended as an invaluable addition to our understanding of Lincoln, the man and the President, and of the darkest years of United Sates history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KarenLee Beaufort, SC United States 08-06-12
    KarenLee Beaufort, SC United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Might be a good book in print"

    I would like to get this book in print becasue it is probably interesting but trying to keep all the characters straight in the audio version proved impossible for me. I was unable to make myself finish!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary iatala 06-01-09
    Mary iatala 06-01-09
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    "The Lincolns"

    This book was interesting but it really was hard for me to follow. I did enjoy it very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Newport, New Caledonia 06-01-09
    Margaret Newport, New Caledonia 06-01-09
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    "Poorly Narrated"

    I am currently enjoying this audiobook, but I have to say that Peter Weller's delivery is a bit sing-song and nasal for my tastes.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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