Look, there are obviously lots of Lincoln biographies out there, and I have read many of them, but after having read this book, I have concluded that the others are merely imitations of Sandburg (some of them very good imitations, certainly, and worth your time, but imitations nonetheless).Consider that this book is a condensed version of Sandburg's sixvolume (!) biography of Lincoln, and you realize that its level of detail is merely suggestive of the detail to be found in the sixvolume set. Civil War and history buffsas well as all lovers of fine writingwill delight in the detail and accuracy of Carl Sandburg's definitive, bestknown biography of Honest Abe Representing a lifetime of study by the great American poet, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years distills Sandburg's monumental six volume set into a single onebook edition By gleaning every possible reference from history, literature, and popular lore, Sandburg successfully captures not only the legendary president, but also Lincoln the man He reveals exactly who Lincoln was, and what forces in his life shaped his personality More thanblackandwhite historical photographs and linecuts show Lincoln himself, the places he went, and the people who knew him This is a biography of Lincoln by the esteemed poet Carl Sandburg I was born just up the road, US Route 34 (in Kewanee), from his home town of Galesburg, Illinois Thus, I have always had a soft spot for this version of Lincoln's life As a poet, Sandburg's version tends to beepic and mythicaland less criticalin its examination of Lincoln For all of that, the book still works well The first part, The Prairie Years, recounts Lincoln's youth and early career before he attained the presidency The story, of course, starts with his family settling in Kentucky, where Lincoln was born in 1809 Later, he moved with his family to Illinois Lincoln began in New Salem and later moved to Springfield Sandburg's depiction of his development, to becoming a practiced attorney, his political ambitions, his brief time in the militia, lays out the standard treatment of Lincoln, written extraordinarily well Many anecdotes dot the volume We see his doomed relationship with Ann Rutledge and his rocky courtship of Mary Todd The discussion of his famous debates with Stephen Douglas in the Senate Campaign that brought him national visibility (and rendered him viable as a potential presidential candidate) is well told Then, the work goes on to explore his place in the Civil War The volume speak poignantly of the family tragedy that he experienced (the death of a child is always difficult), the strained relationship with his wife, the challenges of orchestrating the Union's war effort In a sense, this is a poetic, lyric, romanticized view of Lincoln It could scarcely be anything else, I think, given Sandburg's perspective Nonetheless, for that, this is still a compelling work and worth a read. Abraham Lincoln lived before he became a politician He farmed, he worked on the Mississippi River hauling freight, he labored with ordinary people He truly was born in a cabin with a dirt floor He had no benefit of an education, but devoured every book that he could get his hands on, eventually becoming a lawyer This unabridged version of his biography chronicles every part of his professional life Lincoln was a man with a dry sense of humor He was a great storyteller He was a modest man Some ridiculed him for his homespun appearance and faulty grammer But his empathy, his steadiness, his tenaciousness were the source of his greatness He preserved our nation as one entity and he abolished the evil of slavery I found myself mourning his passing over one hundred and fifty years after he drew his last breath. I've been reading a lot this year, and thebooks I pore over, thedisgruntled I become It was in reading this book, strangely, that I realized the possible cause: the range of narrative voice employed by authors (especially contemporary literary ones) is extremely limited The opening few pages of Sandburg's second of three volumes on Lincoln reads like his poetry, which reads a lot like Whitman's poetry It is flowing, free and expansive, lyrical The rest reads like a history book, which is fair; that's what the book is intended to be, after all The fact that I was hoping for something elsesomething subjective and poetic, an unabashed mythologization of Lincoln (but not so unabashed as to have him slaying vampires)is irrelevant Why are there so few eccentric and distinct narrators? Perhaps it is the mark of an immature reader to even want one When I compile a list of some of the best examplesworks by Hunter Thompson, Mark Twain, The Catcher in the Ryeit seems that it is the same list likely to be found in the favorites of avid readers aged 1521 I don't believe that, though Poets have often write in distinct voices, and are not denigrated for the strategy, and that is telling, in a way Poetry is reliant on rhythm, and rhythm is what truly gives a narrative voice its identity I suspect that the problem is in who reads, and who decides what is published and how The support base for literary texts is very narrow, I imagine (this is based on no hard evidence, and barely any soft evidence) Educated, probably Uppermiddle class and above, probably Based on those two factors alone, additional racial, regional and cultural profiling could be extrapolated, based on the various and marked inequalities that exist along those lines.Back to Sandburg's biography of Lincoln, it isn't written with the flare I expected from one of America's better poets, and, from what I've read on the internet (the best place to find facts), it is not the most reliable account of its subject Maybe read the first 4 or 5 pages, and then go see the movie in which the 16th president of the United States plays poker with the undead. I finished listening to this audible book with tears in my eyes I suffered from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and I gloried in the prose of Carl Sandburg Sandburg noted that when Lincoln died he became a legend surrounded by mythology And so this book did not seem so much to be a compilation of historical truth as a collection of homegrown stories The reading was superb with the inflection of the people of the times And yet I would like to think the stories and the anecdotes captured the truth of the man and the times There is the historical struggle about the truth of whether the Civil War was to free the slaves or preserve the union It is fair to say that the book captures Lincoln as both a hero and a villain. I wanted to learnabout Lincoln.and this book delivered Wonderful writing with plenty of detail. A superb onevolume version of Sandburg's sixvolume biography of our most cherished and beloved president; from The Prairie Years of Lincoln's youth in Kentucky and Illinois, training himself in the law, and in practical, frontier politics, to his successful bid for the presidency during the bitter and divisive 1860 campaign; and finally the enormous challenges he confronted during The War Years of his presidency.Aside from the personality and character of Lincon himself, who literally and figuratively towered over his contemporaries, other figures who stand out among the statesmen and leaders of that era include: Stephen A Douglas, William T Sherman, Ulysses S Grant, and Robert E Lee, all men of outstanding moral and physical courage and personal integrity.Watching the trailers and promotional commercials for the recent movie Lincoln, I was a bit alarmed at one scene in which Daniel DayLewis as Lincoln shakes his fist at his advisers and asserts: I am the President of the United States; endowed with *enormous* power , which seemed to be outofcharacter for Lincoln as Sandburg depicts him that is, until, low and behold, I reached the part of the book in which Sandburg describes Lincoln as using those very words to demonstrate his authority and to encourage his advisers to see to it that the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery was passed.Good for Carl Sandburg, Steven Spielberg and Mr Lincoln! I read this when I was a senior in high school, and when I finished the final volume after nearly two months of reading, I cried because there was noto read This is an amazing rendition of Abraham Lincoln's life If you read it out loud, it is beautiful to hear It is a pleasure to have the words roll off of one's tongue A few of Carl Sandburg's poems are this way, such as Choose Something Like a Star If I am not mistaken, this is the longest and most comprehensive biography that has been written Mr Sandburg also wrote a condensed version of this biography in one volume, which I have also read. Wow.what a great book I figured before I allowed Spielberg and Daniel Day Lewis to poison my mind with their view of Lincoln, I'd go to the source and read this Pulitzer Prize winning bio I'm glad I did Sandburg is a great writer in the same vein as Barbara Tuchman and William Manchester He paints a vivid portrait of Lincoln.I highly recommend this book You may not learn a lot you didn't know, but I guarantee you that you will put the book down and think deeply about matters What a great book.