Abraham Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life is a classic work in 2 volumes from the 1800's written by William H. Herndon, Lincoln's law partner, is an attempt to give an honest view of Lincoln through first hand accounts.
From the introduction: "The purpose of these volumes is to narrate facts, avoiding as much as possible any expression of opinion, and leaving the reader to form his own conclusions. Use has been made of the views and recollections of other persons, but only those known to be truthful and trustworthy. A thread of the narrative of Lincoln's life runs through the work, but an especial feature is an analysis of the man and a portrayal of his attributes and characteristics. The attempt to delineate his qualities, his nature and its manifestations, may occasion frequent repetitions of fact, but if truthfully done this can only augment the store of matter from which posterity is to learn what manner of man he was. The object of this work is to deal with Mr. Lincoln individually and domestically; as lawyer, as citizen, as statesman. Especial attention is given to the history of his youth and early manhood; and while dwelling on this portion of his life the liberty is taken to insert many things which would be omitted or suppressed in other places, where the cast-iron rules that govern magazine-writing are allowed to prevail. Thus much is stated in advance, so that no one need be disappointed in the scope and extent of the work. The endeavor is to keep Lincoln in sight all the time; to cling close to his side all the way through—leaving to others the more comprehensive task of writing a history of his times. I have no theory of his life to establish or destroy. Mr. Lincoln was my warm, devoted friend."
Volumes 1 and 2 included
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I will not be able to say enough good things about this book. I can find nothing to dislike except the author left out many items(as he explained) for the sake of not making the book too long.
This book should be a "must read" for all students in the United States. Without a doubt this is the best book I have read about A. Lincoln. One of the reasons is it was written by a person that probably knew him better than anyone else. Mr. William H. Herndon is also an excellent writer and he had 100's of documents and letters written to and by Lincoln. We were not taught in school he was one of the best orators of his time and he only prepared in advance for his speeches a very few times.
We did learn he had very little formal education. He rivals Benjamin Franklin in his self taught education.
If you have read this much you must be interested in history and I implore you to read this book. Yes, it is 495 pages of history none of us should never...
I've read so many books on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War period but I can truly say having read this book, written by such a wonderful friend who knew, understood and loved him, I can't think of another that I'd recommend above this one! What a human and humane look at such a wonderful man who saved this country and our Democracy. Abraham Lincoln indeed paid a costly price for his country in more ways than many know. How sad our educational system devotes next to nothing in history books and lessons to all that he did, all that he was, and all there is to appreciate about our 16rh President!
Well done Mr Herndon!! And thank you for such a treasure... About an amazing treasure!!
I'm not an avid reader of any single genre of book. I chose this because it came up early in my browse books effort. But no matter, it was an interesting read and filled with a good balance of information about Lincoln. Plus you get a glimpse of the way people spoke to one another in the day. It's certainly a fine book to begin reading about this President if you choose. It's a bit sad that in its time, this book was not favored by the public, and as I understand it, poor Mr Herndon himself hit on bad times and became an alcoholic. So much sadness to go around.
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