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
"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)
This was one of the most interesting books, full of historically accurate and intimate details, that I have ever "read." The lives of two individuals and their subsequent marriage, when the two people are as interesting in their own right as Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, is immediately engaging. Toward the end, this book brought back vivid memories of a childhood trip to Washington D.C. and our visit to Ford's theater and the boarding house bedroom in which President Lincoln lay dying. The intensely personal view of Mary and Abraham and their relationship was so well written and narrated that when I finished listening, I could not wait to learn more. I went online and researched multiple topics about the Lincolns, Abraham Lincoln's assasination, burial in Springfield, and the available accounts of those involved in the assassination conspiracy. Of course, my next listen was another Audible offering, "Manhunt", the breathtaking account of the 12 day hunt for John Wilkes Booth. I highly recommend The Lincolns:Portrait of a Marriage for readers who enjoy American history or any biographical works. It will leave the reader anxious to know anything more that he or she can find out about this complex couple.
As the previous reviewer notes you will learn a lot about the personalities of Mary and Abraham Lincoln. This is an extremely well written work with a ton of historical facts. I would highly recommend this, you will not be disappointed.
Books on tape -- every commuter's friend. American history is my choice but then, in books, as in music, I'm all over the place.
What comes through most in this lengthy and well-researched book, is that the author really doesn't like Mrs. Lincoln very much. Apparently, few did. I had no idea the trials and embarrassments that this kind man endured as he led his country into war.
Very, very interesting and compelling. Well worth your time.
I wish the author had continued to follow Mrs Lincoln after the assassination. I was looking so forward to that and was greatly disappointed at the abrupt end. She was so flawed that I knew after the President's calming influence had ended she would have been even more of a hellcat as her detractors described her.
I enjoyed his narration.
This is an interesting book. I have read much about the Lincoln and the Civil War but never from the viewpoint of his relationship with Mary Todd. Much has been made of Mary's state of mind after the asassination of Lincoln but this shows the basis of her state of mind and her devotion to her husband.
Fascinating look inside the relationship/marriage of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln. I could not stop listening and in fact listened to it a second time so as not to miss anything. It let's us know that most of have stories to tell about our life and marriage, including the famous. I loved the humanness of Mr. Lincoln. I cannot wait to compare this to the current Lincoln movie when I see it. For those who love President Lincoln and need to know more, get this one.
Listening to this Lincoln story has led me to The Madness of Mary Todd Lincoln.
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.
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
This ranks near the top. An in depth view on what made the Lincoln's tick. Lincoln was away so much of the marriage that Mary instead of becoming more independent, made her sons and neighbors take care of her.
Mary was the belle of the ball, but once she made a choice on who to marry her life did not match her expectations. She continually acted out in order to get her husband's attention, either by purchasing huge amounts of clothes and furnishings, or making friends with ruthless men who took advantage of her weaknesses.
The death of her son Willie was the unmaking of Mary. I don't think she was ever able to get over the fact of his death.
He had just the right nuances to the characters.
Too long to listen all at once. I enjoy an hour or two at a time to listen to books.
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