Lincoln’s Biography – Book Review Order No. 666549 Author- David Herbert Donald Title – Lincoln Publication data – Published by Simon and Schuster, 1st Touchstone Ed edition on Dec. 20th, 2011, pgs. 720. David Herbert Donald, the author of Lincoln’s biography highlights the life and times of Lincoln from humble beginnings to the level of America’s President…
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He tells us of how Lincoln was born in the Larue County, Ky in 1809 and that he carried on his education as the family moved to Indiana and later to Illinois. One of the most significant features of his career that the author discusses is how he very capably handled some of the most difficult problems that faced the country and rose to become America’s President against all odds, both in his personal as well as professional life. This biography highlights the various ups and downs faced by him and how he got over the problems such as wars and opposition that faced him. The author explains that while doing law Lincoln worked hard managing a mill, working in a store and many other jobs. In 1834, Lincoln joined the Illinois Legislature and became the floor leader of the party. For the next 20 years he practiced law in Springfield and by 1855 he became a candidate for Senator. The following year Lincoln became a member of the new Republican Party. The author is quite convincing about the biography of this person because not only was Lincoln inspiring but also because it held great significance in the history of America. In this particular biography, the author explains how Lincoln gained popularity and much national attention when he engaged himself in a debate series with the Democratic candidate Stephen A. Douglas. Though he lost the election, yet he paved the way for the 1860 Republican convention and was rewarded by being nominated for President in 1860 where he won against three opponents in the election. This biography makes interesting reading as it traces Lincoln’s steps to success as a President. There were many important influences in Lincoln’s life which made him all the more determined to fulfill the aspirations he had for his country. President Abraham Lincoln strongly believed that the national Government had the capacity to crush the existing rebellion but also understood that the war could not be brought to an end by freeing all the slaves. In addition to this scenario, his administration was badly hampered by Union generals who were quite incompetent, inexperienced troops and other political harassment from different quarters. The author gives us an example of this by describing how the Republican Radicals showed favor for a hard policy, while the Democratic Copperheads favored peace by negotiation. Lincoln was not deterred by the situation and became all the more determined in his endeavors. The turning point in his administration came with the Gettysburg Address that took place on 19th November, 1863 marking the highlight of American eloquence. A winning team was put in place with generals Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman who took part in a series of victories in 1864 thus silencing both the Radicals and the Peace Democrats. President Lincoln’s success in his administration can be clearly seen by his re-election in 1864 when he defeated General George B. McClellan a Democratic candidate. In his inaugural address he advocated leniency in the South but his policy received a lot of opposition from the Republican Radicals. Unfortunately, even before the policy could be tested, Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an actor on 14th April 1865. Pulitzer Prize winner David Herbert Donald's Lincoln is a superb biography of Abraham Lincoln. The biography is a seminal study of the life of Lincoln and seldom does the author stray away from the subject. The
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