Despite all the turmoil of war and political infighting, Lincoln also set the stage for a new era of westward expansion. He shaped the decades to come through laws and subsidies that propelled railroads westward, by the Homestead Act that offered western lands to immigrant farmers and by the Act to Encourage Immigration that enabled 615,000 men, women, and children to arrive in America during the Civil War.As the year ended, John Wilkes Booth, who stalked Lincoln throughout 1864, was only a few weeks away from assassinating our greatest president.
The sometimes nagging deficiencies of Flood's stiff and repetitious prose style is more than compensated for by the richness and honesty of the portrait he gives us. The Lincoln we find here, presented with all the detail and color of thorough historical expertise and documentation, is such a protean and humanly complex force that the mediocre writing is of little consequence.
I found it fascinating to see Lincoln emerge simultaneously as a politician I would have undoubtedly condemned at the time as corrupt and ruthless, as a man I would have admired for his courage, kindness and humility, and as a leader of almost unparalleled vision, commitment and steadfastness.
Flood also spends a good deal of time describing the pivotal battles of 1864. Some readers with no interest in military history may find this tedious, but the accounts do provide a valuable context for the battle being fought at the same time for the will and judgement of the people who would, in November, vote for or against Lincoln's leadership.
If you have any interest in history, or if you just want to get to know an incredible American original with both his finest and his most troubling facets revealed, I highly recommend this book.
I do wish, however, that Mel Foster had looked up the pronunciation of "adjutant" before he made this recording.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
This is a masterful narrative about the drama surrounding Lincoln's final year. During this time Lincoln saw the last campaigns of the Civil War, was reelected president and formed his plans to put the country back together.
In 1864 Lincoln struggled with one bloody battle after another, growing war weariness, political opponents wanting to sue for peace with the south and his own secretary of the treasury, Salmon P. Chase, trying to become the Republican presidential candidate himself. Lincoln even wrote, in August 1864, "..it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be reelected." But Lincoln got the cooperation of Grant, Sherman and other key generals to work towards success to ensure his reelection.
1864 shows us a man who not only saved this young nation, but also, despite a bloody war, put the nation on the path for westward expansion through the Homestead Act, the Act to Encourage Immigration and railroad construction.
There are many books about Lincoln, but Charles Bracelen Flood presents new, secondary information that is truly fascinating.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful
I liked the book. But it is overly long for one year of Lincoln's life and the author stuck to the year closely. Considering he gave the Gettysburg about a month before the year began and was dead a couple of months after the end, perhaps 1864 could have been stretched a bit.
The narration is irritating though. It is fascinating that Lincoln was actually a tenor and with a Southern accent but Mel Foster's imitation when quoting Lincoln grates like fingernails on a chalkboard. It would have sufficed once or twice but to carry it through the book is plain annoying.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
This book examines the last year and a half of Lincoln's life and the war that he eventually won, but which victory he did not live long enough to savor. I love reading about Lincoln; my admiration only grows for him the more I learn about his life. I sure wish we had a man of his integrity in the white house today.
This book gives a realistic look at the man that was Lincoln and the great things he did as president of the United States, many that did not seem so great at the time. I learned many things that I was not previously aware of, and I like that. This is a good book to read if you like to learn about Lincoln.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
If art is in the eye of the beholder than many will love, and some may view the level of detail as excessive. To my eye, there were many items that seemed unimportant to the story yet often intruded into the narrative. Others may view the level of detail favorably.