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Summary

In this important new biography, Ronald C. White, Jr. offers a fresh and fascinating definition of Lincoln as a man of integrity - what today's commentators are calling "authenticity" - whose internal moral compass is the key to understanding his life. Through meticulous research, utilizing recently discovered Lincoln letters, legal papers, and photographs, White depicts Lincoln as a person of intellectual curiosity, comfortable with ambiguity, and capable of changing his mind.

The reader is treated to an exploration of Lincoln's compelling words, his changing ideas on slavery, the shaping of the modern role of Commander-in-Chief, and his surprising religious odyssey.

A. Lincoln, so titled for the way Lincoln signed his name, sheds an innovative and profound light on our nation's most beloved leader for a new generation of Americans.

©2009 Ronald C. White, Jr. (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

"Ronald C. White's A. Lincoln is the best biography of Lincoln since David Donald's Lincoln (1995)... Amid all the books on Lincoln that will be published during the coming year, this one will stand out as one of the best." (James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize)

What listeners say about A. Lincoln

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Recommended

I really enjoyed this captivating book. I could not stop listening. I'd like to have heard more of his speeches, but i finished the book with a clear sense of Lincoln the man.

4 people found this helpful

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Just Fantastic!

It’s quite clear that there have been many many hours of research poured into this book. The detail is beyond anything we could have expected (or hoped for) and the narration is both respectful and courteous with the odd glimpses of humour and much humanity laid bare. You come away thinking that “Honest Abe” was not only a man for all people but truly a gentleman and a great leader. His name will live long with books written like these. Thanks for making my hours of traveling by car feel like my journey was second to the words I was hearing by the narrator of this splendid book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Julieann
  • 17-02-10

Insight into Lincoln

This was an interesting study of a great man as seen through the eyes of those who knew him best, as well as through his personal writings and letters. The book was fact based, informative and surprisingly humorous at times, as Lincoln did indeed, have quite a sense of humor. Lincoln was able to find the light side and humor, even among harsh circumstances. Interestingly, as President, he had an open door policy and hardly anyone was ever turned away. He was a common man, self-taught who learned by doing, for he was not formally schooled. He was a self made made man that carried with him-a sense of humor, genuine common sense and a vision for our country.
A wonderful book for someone who desires a greater understanding of Lincoln's life, which begins with him as a child. Although slow moving and dry at times, the insight into Lincoln as a man and as The President was well worth my listening time.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Carlton
  • 05-09-11

A Powerful Rendering of Lincoln's Life

I could not put this book down. It is well written and narrated. I have listened or read books on Lincoln but this is by far one of the best I have listened to. I highly recommend it.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Rick
  • 17-03-13

Slow, Slow, Slow.

The history behind this great man is fascinating but the book tended to draw too much on the details of the Illinois Legislature, and the US Congress rather than Lincoln the man. Certainly a good book if you want to the details of congress, but if you're looking to hear about Lincoln as a man, father, husband, and beloved President, you might want to get another opinion.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Charlotte A. Hu
  • 20-05-13

Future Unsure, Truly Human Lincoln Made Many Errs

It's odd that when I look back, it seems the end of slavery was inevitable and that Lincoln was always a solid, steady embodiment of leadership.

Reading this book, struggling step by step with Lincoln as he makes mistakes, feels regret and anxiety, as he watches failure after failure on the battlefield, history seems very different.

Lincoln has also always felt too far from me in time and space, but this book makes me feel like I'm walking with him, talking with him, seeing him as an ordinary person, and feeling the pains of his failures and frustrations.

This book is so vivid and clear, so detailed and expressive. I forget I'm listening to a "educational" audiobook, because the storytelling nature of the narration is so fluid.

This is just a wonderful book - great literary quality as well as bringing history to the listener/reader. Great work.

This book was well-read and well-produced. The ideas flowed seamless into my mind.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Dielle
  • 26-04-10

Disappointed in lack of depth

I was hoping for a historical novel more along the lines of the Last Lion biography of Winston Churchill. But this was more like a children's history lesson. There was very little analysis or tying cause and events together. Just a listing of relative unrelated occurances. I listened up to when he ran for president and was very disappointed on the lack of insight as to how a relative unknown, unpopular man came to be elected as such a pivotal time. Very little analysis of how torn the country was at the time of the election. My son's Jr. High history book had more depth.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Adam
  • 17-01-12

Very good

This is a very good and informative book. Even though I already knew a lot about Lincoln and the Civil War, I still learned a lot from this book. One thing in particular I liked was the amount of time the author devoted to his life before his presidency. Often books on important people focus too much attention on the events you already know, which made them so famous. These often minimize their life before that important event, which means that you won't be able to learn what really made them tick. This book doesn't do that, nor does it focus too much on the battle history of the Civil War. On the Civil War, it focuses (like it should) on Lincoln's role, and describes how his views changed and what led up to important decisions like his issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation. I highly recommend this book.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Eran Gal
  • 17-08-11

Great Man - Very Interesting

Great biography of a great man.
Inspiring book.
Though it is very long and VERY detailed, at times too detailed, it is likely that Lincoln, the man of facts and details would have liked it. It starts very slowly and takes time to get into the story, but again, it was probably very typical of Lincoln to be this way.
Recommended.

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michelle
  • 16-07-09

Thorough biography

Very well written and narrated story of A. Lincoln's life from birth to assassination.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Nothing really matters
  • 02-05-14

Abraham Lincoln is such a fascinating person.

The book is fact-heavy about Abe Lincoln's early years, which gets things off to a slow start. But later it is fact-heavy about the years leading up to and during his two terms as a wartime president which is really very interesting.

One particularly noteworthy thing about this author's Lincoln biography is his dissection of some of Lincoln's more important speeches. I found that much more interesting than I would have guessed and really enjoyed it.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonnie
  • 22-09-10

Average review of Lincoln's life

This book was a three. It was not strong, it was not weak, it presented the facts in an acceptable manner. I would go somewhere else and look for the same facts being presented in a more interesting and entertaining manner.

6 people found this helpful