Originally published in six volumes, which sold more than one million copies, Carl Sandburg’s Abraham Lincoln was praised as the most noteworthy historical biography of Sandburg’s generation. He later distilled this monumental work into one volume that critics and readers alike consider his greatest work of nonfiction, as well as the most distinguished, authoritative biography of Lincoln ever published.
Growing up in an Illinois prairie town, Sandburg listened to stories of old-timers who had known Lincoln. By the time this single-volume edition was competed, he had spent a lifetime studying, researching, and writing about our 16th president.
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Elliott Gould, Burt Reynolds, Meryl Streep, and a host of other celebrities read over 100 poems by four of America's greatest poets. Walt Whitman celebrates the brash and rugged individualism of his country in exuberant language. The spare, precise language of Emily Dickinson conveys her penetrating vision of the natural world and an acute understanding of the most profound human truths.
This was Carl Sandburg's breakthrough book. It is easy to see how it draws directly on Sandburg's life in Chicago, because it speaks powerfully of the specific character of that city, and indeed, begins with his famous poem that names Chicago as the "City of the Broad Shoulders." His poetry is deeply aware of the inner life of the city, from a homeless woman freezing in a doorway to the lifestyles of the rich and powerful.
This is Carl Sandburg's third book of poetry and his largest. It is also the most wide-ranging. The title, Smoke and Steel, suggests the steel industry he knew in Chicago, Gary and Pittsburg, but he writes about many other things as well. His over-arching theme seems to be human life as a struggle in adversity, a struggle for the mere necessities of life - food, clothing, shelter, work - and a struggle for the human soul, a struggle for love, charity, justice, equality.
This is Carl Sandburg's fourth collection of poetry. His signature style, a rough-and-ready free verse that often transforms into poetic prose, is in full view. Like Whitman before him and like Masters and Frost in his own time, he puts his focus directly on life as he sees it around him, life in the rough-and-tumble Chicago of the early 20th century and life in the American West at a time when that wild country was finally succumbing to civilization
Carl Sandburg fixed his eyes on the people of his time and place. He ignored or scorned the wealthy, the comfortable, the complacent, the powerful and those who serve them; he had no time for the ruling class. His eyes were open to the immigrant, the laborer, the hobo, the farmer, the man who works with his hands, the woman who runs a family, the soldier who goes to war for them.
Carl Sandburg wrote poems with such soulfulness, lyric grace, and love and compassion for the common man that he was known as a "poet of the people." Here is a collection of 95 of his best works, including "Chicago," "Fog," "To a Contemporary Bunkshooter," "Masses," and "The Great Hunt," as well as other verses on themes like love, war, death, loneliness, immigrant life, and the beauty of nature.
These tales are full of play-on-words and unusual characters that will charm children and grown-ups alike. Come along with us and meet Gold Buskin Wincher, the Potao-Face Blind Man, Rags Habakuk, the Flongboos, Hatrack the Horse, Slipfoot, and many others!
This essay comes from the NPR series This I Believe, which features brief personal reflections from both famous and unknown Americans. The pieces that make up the series compel listeners to rethink not only what and how they have arrived at their beliefs, but also the extent to which they share them with others.