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According to Wikipedia: "Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 â€" April 15, 1865) was the sixteenth President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1861 until his assassination. As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States, Lincoln won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was elected president later that year. During his term, he hel According to Wikipedia: "Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 â€" April 15, 1865) was the sixteenth President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1861 until his assassination. As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States, Lincoln won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was elected president later that year. During his term, he helped preserve the United States by leading the defeat of the secessionist Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. He introduced measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery, issuing his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoting the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1865."


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According to Wikipedia: "Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 â€" April 15, 1865) was the sixteenth President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1861 until his assassination. As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States, Lincoln won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was elected president later that year. During his term, he hel According to Wikipedia: "Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 â€" April 15, 1865) was the sixteenth President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1861 until his assassination. As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States, Lincoln won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was elected president later that year. During his term, he helped preserve the United States by leading the defeat of the secessionist Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. He introduced measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery, issuing his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoting the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1865."

30 review for The Life of Abraham Lincoln

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    This book was written by Henry Ketcham in 1901, only 36 years after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. To put that in perspective, it is more recent to Ketcham than President Kennedy's assassination is to us, and Abraham's son Robert was still alive, as well as many other people who knew Abraham Lincoln firsthand. I think that gives Mr. Ketcham a distinct advantage over modern Lincoln biographers, not just from temporal proximity but also from a more accepted national feeling in 1901 of not sugar This book was written by Henry Ketcham in 1901, only 36 years after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. To put that in perspective, it is more recent to Ketcham than President Kennedy's assassination is to us, and Abraham's son Robert was still alive, as well as many other people who knew Abraham Lincoln firsthand. I think that gives Mr. Ketcham a distinct advantage over modern Lincoln biographers, not just from temporal proximity but also from a more accepted national feeling in 1901 of not sugarcoating history nearly as much as we do today. Mr. Ketcham's narration and inclusion of facts is pretty extraordinary, and from Abe's birth to his first practicing in law, you can see his character and quest for knowledge and people skills and humbleness being built and tempered to endure to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing, in any situation, and even go far beyond that, and carrying that forward into his political life and presidency. This is a model that we in 21st century America very much need to have shown to us, and Mr. Ketcham serves us well even today by providing that in this book. On a closely connected and very important literary note, the three books Abe had in his house to read while growing up were: The Bible, a biography of George Washington, and a book of Aesop's Fables. The text of Mr. Ketcham's book is in the public domain and can therefore be found on many sites like Gutenberg and iBooks for free.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    A well-written book of the life of one of the greatest men in American history. The author's style of writing gave you the feeling of personally knowing the man. Many of today's political leaders need to read the book and follow some of Lincoln's honest policies, integrity in handling difficult problems and a deep sense of caring for his fellow man. He put the good of the country before his own personal needs.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    About a third of the way into this very positive look at the life of Abraham Lincoln it came to my attention that the book was written in 1901. that explained a lot. the style of writing was a bit different from what we see today and I have to say that the portrayal of Lincoln was EXTREMELY positive, to the point of sometimes being excessive. That said though, it was a nice look at our 16th president. The book was a free download from Amazon for the Kindle so the price was right too.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Terry Kim

    Abraham Lincoln is one of the greatest role models of my life. This man has taught me that you can be self-less yet become your truest self, you can be kind and yet be strong. Lincoln's life appears to be tragedy after tragedy (death of his mother, death of his love, failure after failure of his campaigns), yet he perseveres strongly for his beliefs. This is a man who couldn't stand to see a single animal suffer, and was willing to die for his principles (abolish slavery) during the days when sl Abraham Lincoln is one of the greatest role models of my life. This man has taught me that you can be self-less yet become your truest self, you can be kind and yet be strong. Lincoln's life appears to be tragedy after tragedy (death of his mother, death of his love, failure after failure of his campaigns), yet he perseveres strongly for his beliefs. This is a man who couldn't stand to see a single animal suffer, and was willing to die for his principles (abolish slavery) during the days when slavery was not only considered normal but people thought Lincoln was evil to abolish it. This particular book is focused around Lincoln's political career. I did find it a little hard to follow as I have no knowledge at all of history around that period and also there are lot of names that was introduced. I found this book to be a strictly factual account of Lincoln, where as I hoped to see more into Lincoln's psyche and authors interpretation of Lincoln's mindset. Not a bad read but I found myself getting lost at factual events that seemed like a wikipedia log of events.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John Martindale

    According to Wikipeda Henry Ketcham fought in the civil war. I wanted to read a history of Lincoln by someone who experienced some of the events and knew Lincoln. Ketcham definitely allowed me to see the Northern Unionist perspective, one would think from reading this that the only reason the South left the union was because of slavery. One might also come away thinking the North was completely blameless before the war and that Lincoln was the Souths greatest friend if only they could have recog According to Wikipeda Henry Ketcham fought in the civil war. I wanted to read a history of Lincoln by someone who experienced some of the events and knew Lincoln. Ketcham definitely allowed me to see the Northern Unionist perspective, one would think from reading this that the only reason the South left the union was because of slavery. One might also come away thinking the North was completely blameless before the war and that Lincoln was the Souths greatest friend if only they could have recognized it. I've heard enough from other friends who have researched the matter to make me wonder if this really was the case. To Ketcham, Abraham Lincoln was practically Jesus, almost perfect in deed and character. And if many of the things Ketcham claims about Lincoln are true, maybe he truly was a man of great integrity, wit and humor, wisdom and understanding--a true hero. Yet it's still hard for lovers of liberty to be comfortable with the unconstitutional actions he employed while in office. It would have seemed to preserve the union was something to be achieved at any means. Ketcham said it was really hard for Lincoln to do away things like habeas corpus, but the circumstances of the war made it a necessity for him to do so, maybe so... but. Ketcham often mentioned the patients, unselfishness, lack of personal ambition, honesty, compassion, mercy and tenderness of Lincoln, how he wouldn't hurt a fly and was extremely troubled by the suffering of all people and even the beast. But it is hard to reconcile this with Lincolns approval of Sherman's absolutely horrific march to the sea and scorched earth policy. If what Ketcham says is true, maybe in Lincoln we truly have a mix of a noble man of great character, with the practical Machiavellian Prince who sees the end justifying the most unsavory means. Maybe this is why many see him as Jesus and others view him as Satan incarnate, if one takes either extreme as his starting perspective, he interpret everything else to fit with it. After finishing this book, I kind of lean towards the idea that Lincoln as a truly good man who was placed in a nightmarish situation. In the context Lincoln found himself in, nothing was simple or black-n-white, maybe he often felt like he was place between two evils and had to choose what he saw as the lesser.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jason Schneeberger

    I had been wanting to read a book on Abraham Lincoln for quite a long time and after looking around and seeing how many of them are out there, I was dumbfounded at where to begin. Also, I will be visiting Abe's hometown of Springfield, Illinois soon and wanted to freshen up on his history. When I found THE LIFE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN, I decided that it would be a good starting point for two reasons. First, because it was written in 1901, I figured it would be neat to read a book from closer to when I had been wanting to read a book on Abraham Lincoln for quite a long time and after looking around and seeing how many of them are out there, I was dumbfounded at where to begin. Also, I will be visiting Abe's hometown of Springfield, Illinois soon and wanted to freshen up on his history. When I found THE LIFE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN, I decided that it would be a good starting point for two reasons. First, because it was written in 1901, I figured it would be neat to read a book from closer to when it actually happened and two...it is free in the Kindle Store! Going all the way back to his childhood in Elizabethtown, Ky and concluding after his assassination, THE LIFE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN gives the reader a rundown of the entire life of one of the greatest presidents to ever have lived. Having not known much at all about his life, this book was very educational to me. To hear about the honesty, kindness and unwavering determination was quite inspiring. And also the constant danger and threat that he was under, during his presidency, for being such a radical and forward thinking president, was eye opening. The only real downside to the book was its overt praise of Abe, to the point of almost making him out to be a divined prophet. Not that he wasn't a good and noble man, but author Henry Ketcham so praises Abe that you would think he actually walked on water. It would have been nice to hear even a hint of objectivity. Being written in 1901 also make the book a little slower to read for me. The language was so different then, that I had to read at a slower than normal pace, to really take it all in. At right around 250 pages, a lot is mentioned in this book and reading this also has made me want to read a more thorough and in depth biography on Abe. If you are looking for a book on Abe that is going to give you a good summary of all he did in his life, I would suggest this as a good starting point; it's well written and you can't beat FREE! I give this one 4/5!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mmars

    In today's age of vitriolic politics, I found it heartening to read this audulatory biography of Abraham Lincoln. Although written over 100 years ago it was very readable. From the get-go Ketcham uses a well-chosen pallet of anecdotes to place the reader in the era of Lincoln's life. You know early on whether you'll enjoy this biography. It is a linear telling, in which Lincoln's upstanding character begins in his childhood and never waivers. Lincoln errs, of course, but in the context of his hu In today's age of vitriolic politics, I found it heartening to read this audulatory biography of Abraham Lincoln. Although written over 100 years ago it was very readable. From the get-go Ketcham uses a well-chosen pallet of anecdotes to place the reader in the era of Lincoln's life. You know early on whether you'll enjoy this biography. It is a linear telling, in which Lincoln's upstanding character begins in his childhood and never waivers. Lincoln errs, of course, but in the context of his humanity. According to Ketcham, even his enemies love Lincoln and Lincoln loved all men in return. It goes on. He's patient, overly so it seems, but to Ketchum this sometimes enabled him to outmaneuver his opponents. He's trusting. He's wise. He's caring of the common man and is deeply disturbed by death. Thankfully, Ketcham does show that his strengths were sometimes weaknesses that nearly cause catastrophic downfall on many occasions. If you're looking for a story of his marriage and personal life, you'll be disappointed. This is more a telling of his public persona written by someone who twice saw Lincoln during his lifetime. There is much that could be disputed such as that Ketcham believed Lincoln was determined from a young age to end slavery. I appreciated the amount of detail Ketcham included explaining the lead-up to the Civil War. I think he felt a need to refresh the memory of his contemporary constituents, just as a writer today would need to explain the lead-up to the first Iraq War in a biography of George Bush, Sr. (The comparison ends there.) One other thing I appreciated. This was the inclusion of Lincoln's own words, mostly speeches, even though Ketcham goes over the top in his praise. This could be a starting point for reading Lincoln biographies. But it most definitely should not be read as a "definitive" biography. (This review was based on a Kindle public domain edition.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ross Leavitt

    The first time I read this book, I was enamored by this incredible man. The detailed portrait was painted by an author not far removed from Lincoln's life, and he goes to great pains to highlight his subject's honest character, the development of his moral values, his strong leadership, and the noble vision he had for his nation. Then I learned that there were two sides in the War Between the States. Early in my reinvestigation of that conflict, I revisited this book, wondering whether the pro-Li The first time I read this book, I was enamored by this incredible man. The detailed portrait was painted by an author not far removed from Lincoln's life, and he goes to great pains to highlight his subject's honest character, the development of his moral values, his strong leadership, and the noble vision he had for his nation. Then I learned that there were two sides in the War Between the States. Early in my reinvestigation of that conflict, I revisited this book, wondering whether the pro-Lincoln perspective it gives could hold water. I was shocked. The author makes constant assumptions about Lincoln's character based on historical facts. For example, did Lincoln's generous treatment of General McClellan flow from a magnanimous heart, or did it simply show he was an effective leader? He hardly mentions many of the unsavory acts Lincoln authorized during the war. When questionable acts are mentioned, they are justified as unfortunate necessities and Lincoln shows sincere regret that such measures are necessary. This is a quick book that makes for light reading. Anyone armed with some knowledge of the War will feel smart while reading it, because it doesn't take much to critique every page of it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erez Davidi

    This is a decent account of one of the most important US presidents, especially because it was published in 1901, a time when some people who actually knew Lincoln were alive. However, I have two reservations about this biography. The first is this biography is somewhat dull. Perhaps this is because the writing style was very different back then. Secondly, this not an objective biography by any measure. The author is clearly an admirer of Lincoln. Here is a short quotation to show illustrate how This is a decent account of one of the most important US presidents, especially because it was published in 1901, a time when some people who actually knew Lincoln were alive. However, I have two reservations about this biography. The first is this biography is somewhat dull. Perhaps this is because the writing style was very different back then. Secondly, this not an objective biography by any measure. The author is clearly an admirer of Lincoln. Here is a short quotation to show illustrate how far this admiration runs: “It took years for them to comprehend the fact that in Mr. Lincoln the country had the wisest, truest, gentlest, noblest, most sagacious President who had occupied the chair of state since Washington retired from it.” This book can still be of value if you understand that it’s not intended to be objective.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    I've gotta thank another review on this site in regards to this book. He opened my eyes and made me realize there isn't much Abraham Lincoln in this book entitled "The Life of Abraham Lincoln." I love that it was written by a contemporary of that great president, but what you really get when you read this book is a history of the times in which Lincoln was alive. He was a minor character in this book. I don't feel that I got to know the man much at all and look forward to reading another biograp I've gotta thank another review on this site in regards to this book. He opened my eyes and made me realize there isn't much Abraham Lincoln in this book entitled "The Life of Abraham Lincoln." I love that it was written by a contemporary of that great president, but what you really get when you read this book is a history of the times in which Lincoln was alive. He was a minor character in this book. I don't feel that I got to know the man much at all and look forward to reading another biography that talks more about him than the times he lived in. It's a decent read, but I'm rating it for being a biography that doesn't inform you much about its subject.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeremiah

    This is a great biography by a near contemporary of Lincoln (Ketcham met Lincoln twice). Ketcham's purpose is to give the reader a sense of what Lincoln was like as a person. The author impresses his own respect for the man on the reader. One is also given a glimpse into the life and times of America during Lincolns life. One comes away with a profound respect for the man, who looms larger than life.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I am reading this on my Kindle - so it'll take a while. It's a good book so far - humanizes him! I've never been a history buff - so a lot of this book is news to me... Slow reading - not too much time, lately!I learned a lot about Lincoln, the Civil War & his generals... through the eyes of the author... I'm finally finished!

  13. 5 out of 5

    ♫Angielee♫

    Well written, but tooooo much history for me. I just couldn't possibly finish. I started reading this to check the accuracy of Abe...Vampire Hunter. It's spot on! To bad I need more intertainment when I read. It would be good for me to learn something now and then.

  14. 5 out of 5

    David

    The type of biography I enjoy most. An open love letter to the man who did so much for the country. This should be required reading for Americans.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Seth Rodriguez

    Abraham Lincoln was born in rural Kentucky in 1809, to parents of low social standing and little education. During his childhood and early youth, the family would move several times, first to Indiana and later to Illinois. Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks, died when Lincoln was still a boy, and the next year his father, Thomas remarried to Sarah Bush Johnston, who helped raise the young Lincoln. Lincoln got his start in life after a pair of flatboat journeys to New Orleans. Soon afterward, he moved Abraham Lincoln was born in rural Kentucky in 1809, to parents of low social standing and little education. During his childhood and early youth, the family would move several times, first to Indiana and later to Illinois. Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks, died when Lincoln was still a boy, and the next year his father, Thomas remarried to Sarah Bush Johnston, who helped raise the young Lincoln. Lincoln got his start in life after a pair of flatboat journeys to New Orleans. Soon afterward, he moved to New Salem, Illinois and set up as a store clerk there. When the Black Hawk War broke out in 1832, he became the captain of his volunteer company, serving for three months but seeing no active duty. Lincoln's first bid for elected office came in that same year, when he ran unsuccessfully for the Illinois state legislature. Two years later, he ran again and was victorious, becoming a fixture of the Whig party in the General Assembly for the next eight years. At the same time, Lincoln's law career began to flourish. He was admitted to the bar in 1837, and moved to Springfield, the new state capital, later that same year. Lincoln married Mary Todd in 1842. The couple had four sons together, two of whom would die tragically while still children. Then, in 1846, Lincoln was elected to U.S. Congress, and moved to Washington to serve out his term, where he spoke out against the Mexican War and unsuccessfully attempted to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia. In 1849, Lincoln returned to Springfield to resume his career as a lawyer and devote more time to his family. His political life seemed to be over. But when the slavery question heated up in the middle 1850s, Lincoln took to the stump again, running unsuccessfully for Senate in 1854 and 1858. Despite these losses, Lincoln gained national exposure due to his flair for oration. Such talent was especially evident during the series of debates he engaged in against Stephen Douglas during the campaign of 1858, when Lincoln established himself as a leading opponent of popular sovereignty. A combination of luck, manipulation, and talent won Lincoln the Republican nomination for president in 1860. An especially fragmented race, featuring four major candidates, resulted in a victory for Lincoln despite the fact that he won less than 40 percent of the popular vote. With an avowed opponent of slavery having gained the nation's top office, several southern states began to consider the prospect of secession. An initial wave of secession led by South Carolina brought about the establishment of the Confederate States of America, a self-declared independent nation apart from the United States of America. After Lincoln attempted to reinforce Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, Confederate forces opened fire and the Civil War began. When Lincoln called for a sizeable militia to quash the rebellion, several more states, led by Virginia, also seceded. While Lincoln insisted that the Civil War was being fought to preserve the Union, the fate of slavery also played a major role. Lincoln took an overpowering role as commander-in-chief in a time of war. Controversially, he suspended several rights as defined by the Constitution and expanded the powers of both the executive and the federal government considerably. In addition, Lincoln signed several significant pieces of legislation into law, including policies relating to currency, homesteaders, railroads, and taxes. Today, many view Lincoln's most significant action as president to be his Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, which paved the way for the Thirteenth Amendment and the abolishment of slavery in the United States. He also became noted for his pithy way with words, giving such memorable speeches as the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural. Together with his trademark beard and stovepipe hat, Lincoln's talent for simple eloquence has become a part of popular legend. The Civil War proved long and costly for both sides, and though the Union enjoyed superior numbers and stores, they were often overwhelmed by the superior military minds of the Confederacy. Despite heavy criticisms from all sides, Lincoln maintained enough support to win re-election in 1864. As the war drew to a close, Lincoln made preparations for a charitable reconstruction plan to help unify the nation once again. Less than one week after the Confederate surrender, while attending a Washington theater, Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. The nation mourned as he lay in state, and Illinois wept when her favorite son was interred at Springfield a few weeks later. The work of reconstruction would carry on without Lincoln, but his memory would live on in the nation's imagination. For his work in preserving the union and bringing an end to the "peculiar institution" of slavery, Abraham Lincoln would come to earn a place of honor among the greatest of American heroes.

  16. 4 out of 5

    David

    Given that this book was written in 1901, many of those mentioned, including the author, were alive at that time and also had first-hand knowledge and possibly met and knew Lincoln personally. I especially enjoyed reading about the early years because it shows his character being developed. Also, with so much hatred directed at him from many including statements that he should be killed as well as several attempts made to do just that, I can’t help but see parallels to the fanatical hatred and s Given that this book was written in 1901, many of those mentioned, including the author, were alive at that time and also had first-hand knowledge and possibly met and knew Lincoln personally. I especially enjoyed reading about the early years because it shows his character being developed. Also, with so much hatred directed at him from many including statements that he should be killed as well as several attempts made to do just that, I can’t help but see parallels to the fanatical hatred and similar death wishes towards President Donald Trump today. I am even more impressed with Lincoln now than before reading this mostly positive account of his life.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Seaton

    Am amazing man I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know President Lincoln through Ketcham's intelligent, thoughtful style. The author does a good job of presenting Lincoln's many virtues while still showing his mistakes. Lincoln is a man to be studied and emulated, and this is a great pace to start.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    A beautifully written book that was hard to put down. The book sheds a lot of light on his early years as a country lawyer and his political beginnings. It also gives the reader a real sense of the division and chaos the country was in during the war and even the several years leading up to it. The reader is guaranteed to have a renewed respect for Lincoln after reading this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gail Burgess

    It's interesting to get a slightly different slant on Lincoln's life and politics. This book isn't all worshipful of Lincoln, but it does see him as the best man for the times. I like reading about a politician for whom honesty is important. His attitude about slavery is better understood after reading this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Judy L Zippi

    What a man........ I chose this rating because he was Abraham Lincoln! This is a must read, as ma y things of him I did know. In this world today to me, there is no one to compare. He was very deep. Some may consider not finishing the book. Not me. If only more were like him.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Interesting on fun facts about Abraham Lincoln. It gives a brief history of the before Abe life (of his father and mothers history), then discusses Abe's life and how some people label him one of the best presidents of the time period and why.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Ross

    A nice read about a great man. This was a great book to learn more about Abraham Lincoln. It was a bit slow and extremely repetitive. I won't read it again, but I'm glad I read it the first time. It seems very factual, but I don't know enough to verify its facts.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Good overview of Lincoln from birth to death. Author did not go off on any tangents. This book is about Lincoln only. It was a good starter book on the life of Lincoln for me as I learned quite a few things about Lincoln I never knew.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jay Carper

    Otherwise known as "The Gospel of Abe." To be honest, I didn't get very far into this one. It seemed like more of an ode than a biography.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Warren Cardiff

    History brought to life! Great! History at its best! If you love history or Abraham Lincoln you’ll love this book! I loved this book!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

    Informative Lincoln has always been my favorite president so it made sense to read his biography. This was written in 1901 not too long after his presidency and death. Very informative, still my favorite

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dalton

    For my good reads report I read The Life of Abraham Lincoln. I thought it was an amazing book! It's definitely made for anyone that has interest in history. This vividly describes the life of Abraham Lincoln. The book kept me reading all the way until the end without getting bored, but that may be because I am interested in History. It's really interesting to read about the life of Abraham Lincoln and how everything happened. The author's purpose was to inform all readers about the Life of Lincol For my good reads report I read The Life of Abraham Lincoln. I thought it was an amazing book! It's definitely made for anyone that has interest in history. This vividly describes the life of Abraham Lincoln. The book kept me reading all the way until the end without getting bored, but that may be because I am interested in History. It's really interesting to read about the life of Abraham Lincoln and how everything happened. The author's purpose was to inform all readers about the Life of Lincoln and all of his amazing accomplishments. I definitely recommend the book to everyone, because it's a true story and it's still interesting. Henry Ketcham did well on the book and did well and kept it interesting. What I liked about this book was that it was very descriptive, and I liked it because it was a true story written by someone who knows what they're talking about. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that is interested in this kind of stuff (history, politics, was Stradegy). To conclude, this book was AMAZING, and I LOVE how it kept me engaged the whole way through.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Derrick

    A well written book. I thought it was written by a Johnny come lately but was surprised to find it was written by a man in his words "had the occasion to look at the President's face twice, once in life and once in death." Although it was obvious he was a diehard supporter of the 16th President I still appreciated what he brought to the table. I've read a lot of books on the Civil War and viewed Ken Burns's documentary which was the best. But this book gave me insight into mood of the time. His A well written book. I thought it was written by a Johnny come lately but was surprised to find it was written by a man in his words "had the occasion to look at the President's face twice, once in life and once in death." Although it was obvious he was a diehard supporter of the 16th President I still appreciated what he brought to the table. I've read a lot of books on the Civil War and viewed Ken Burns's documentary which was the best. But this book gave me insight into mood of the time. His details about the Generals and politicians connected with Lincoln were superb. My only criticism is that he should have went into deeper descriptions of Lincoln's early life. He seemed to fly pass it. Also he left out a lot of the Oval office experience and life at the White House in general. It's like Lincoln's children didn't exist and he only lightly touched on them. (With only one child making it to adulthood,his family was a tragedy in itself). But despite that, it's an excellent book. I highly recommend it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    Saying that Abraham Lincoln was Christlike just would not paint an accurate picture of what he was like. He suffered much by people who should have been his friends, He was exceedingly slow to criticize. Lincon had many sufferings, yet maintiained his virtues. I am totally inadequate to describe the increased depth of understanding that I came to about Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, James Buchanan, Horace Greeley and others throug reading this book. This book has definitely got me more interested in Saying that Abraham Lincoln was Christlike just would not paint an accurate picture of what he was like. He suffered much by people who should have been his friends, He was exceedingly slow to criticize. Lincon had many sufferings, yet maintiained his virtues. I am totally inadequate to describe the increased depth of understanding that I came to about Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, James Buchanan, Horace Greeley and others throug reading this book. This book has definitely got me more interested in the greatness of Abraham Lincoln. I am starting In Lincoln's Hand: His Original Manuscripts with Commentary by Distinguished Americans published by the Library of Congress to increase my understanding of his life and times.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Phil

    I enjoyed this far more than I had expected. Ketcham published this book in 1901, and I got the Kindle version free from Amazon.com. I figured that something free and written relatively soon (36 years) after Lincoln's death would likely be a hero-worshiping, poorly written biography. Wrong! Ketcham's historical perspective of Lincoln greatly surprised me. In some places, the author's praise of Lincoln was a little too much. But Ketcham often pointed out certain information that was widespread but I enjoyed this far more than I had expected. Ketcham published this book in 1901, and I got the Kindle version free from Amazon.com. I figured that something free and written relatively soon (36 years) after Lincoln's death would likely be a hero-worshiping, poorly written biography. Wrong! Ketcham's historical perspective of Lincoln greatly surprised me. In some places, the author's praise of Lincoln was a little too much. But Ketcham often pointed out certain information that was widespread but likely not true. The author's appreciation of Lincoln's superb literary skills also surprised me. Only during the last few years have I come to appreciate Lincoln's mastery of the English language. Once I got to the chapter that focuses on Lincoln's literary skills, I also realized that Ketcham wrote much better than many of today's biographers. Finally, I liked Ketcham's selections of what to include in this modest-size biography.

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