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The Life Of Abraham Lincoln

Ward H. Lamon

Book Overview: 

Ward Hill Lamon's work is a study of the life of the 16th President of the United States of America from his childhood to the day of his first inauguration. Lamon, who worked with Lincoln during his administration, and who had access to the papers of Lincoln's law partner and biographer William Herndon, paints a vivid portrait of the years that lead to what many considered to be an unlikely yet successful run for the presidency. From his time fighting in the west as both an officer and a private soldier, through his Congressional years, private law practice and failed attempts to win a seat in the United States Senate, Lincoln is presented as the human being he was, nothing more and nothing less. This fascinating man, who arguably could be considered the best president the United States has ever known, was a complex and intensely private and conflicted individual who nonetheless sought and found his calling in public service. Lamon skillfully weaves Lincoln's speeches and letters, often in full, throughout his narrative so that the reader hears much of the story in Lincoln's own words. Rich in detail, one comes away with a fuller understanding of who Lincoln was and what formed his political and religious beliefs. With so much already known about Lincoln, Lamon's work supplements known history with private details that only Herndon and Lamon and those closest to Lincoln could provide.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .he never made a trip like the one described; never built a boat until he went to Illinois; nor did he ever sell produce on his father's account, for the good reason that his father had none to sell.

1 Holland's Life of Lincoln, p. 33.


ABE and Gentry returned from New Orleans some time in June, 1828, having been gone not quite three months. How much longer he remained in the service of Gentry, or whether he remained at all, we are unable to say; but he soon took up his old habits, and began to work around among his neighbors, or for his father, precisely as he had done before he got his partial glimpse of the great world down the river.

In the fall of 1829, Mr. Wood saw him cutting down a large tree in the woods, and whip-sawing it into pl. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Just superb. The story of the Civil War as told by one of Lincoln's best friends, Ward Lamon. Interestingly I read this as a Kindle e-book, but there is no edition like that on goodreads.
The day to day details of the war; the insights from one of the participants; the period tone and language all co

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