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A Short Life of Abraham Lincoln

John G. Nicolay

Book Overview: 

John G. Nicolay was Abraham Lincoln’s private White House secretary. With assistant secretary, John Hay, he wrote the two volume definitive biography of Lincoln, “Abraham Lincoln, a Biography.” Although this is a condensation by Nicolay of that biography, it is still a sizable work and a fairly thorough treatment of the life of the 16th president of the United States.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Democratic State of the North on the platform that it is the duty of the Federal government to force the people of a Territory to have slavery when they do not want it."

An extended discussion between Northern and Southern Democratic senators followed the colloquy, which showed that the Freeport doctrine had opened up an irreparable schism between the Northern and Southern wings of the Democratic party.

In all the speeches made by Douglas during his Southern tour, he continually referred to Mr. Lincoln as the champion of abolitionism, and to his doctrines as the platform of the abolition or Republican party. The practical effect of this course was to extend and prolong the Illinois senatorial campaign of 1858, to expand it to national breadth, and gradually to merge it in the coming presidential campaign. The effect of this was not only to keep before the public the position of Lincoln as the Republican champion of Illinois, but also gradually to lift him. . . Read More

Community Reviews

John Nicolay was a private secretary for Abraham Lincoln during his time as president and was intimate to virtually every key event in the president’s administration. Nicolay
could be viewed as the proverbial “fly on the wall,” yet in fact, he was closer than that because Lincoln used him and Nic...more

Great insight into Abraham Lincolns life. It took me a long time to finish but glad to have read it. :)

I liked it. It gave the story from one of Lincoln's closest aides during the presidency and with the perspective of those times.

John G. Nicolay, private secretary to Abraham Lincoln, wrote A Short Life of Abraham Lincoln which was published in 1902, the year following his death. I have always considered that observations of an eye witness better than conclusions of others not so blessed. As private secretary to the 16th P...more

E scrisa de unul din secretarii lui Lincoln, prin urmare o perspectiva la prima mana. Din pacate e la fel de seaca precum un manual de istorie din scoala cu evenimente enumerate si spre deloc personala.
Ce mi-a placut e ca mi-am dat seama din nou ca succesul se cladeste si chiar si pentru Lincoln...more

Born into poverty, lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown. But he didn't quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the history of USA.
it's fascinating to read story of this wonderful man. The origin of the "american dream". A true history of ameri...more

Quite a bit of Civil War history for a biography...more

Great to read reflections from the two young secretaries who attended Lincoln throughout his administration. Though the book occasionally wanders into the "subject-verb-date" scenario of historical writing, it remains powerful to consider insights from those who were on the scene and privy to the...more