Lincoln

Lincoln

HOW PRESIDENT LINCOLN BECAME FATHER TO AN ARMY AND A NATION

Read by: Dick Estell
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In the bestselling tradition of Truman, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer David Herbert Donald offers a new classic in American history and biography -- a masterly account of how one man's extraordinary political acumen steered the Union to victory in the Civil War, and of how his soaring rhetoric gave meaning to that agonizing struggle for nationhood and equality.
Donald spent 50 years studying Lincoln tracing his rise from humble origins to the pinnacle of the presidency. He reveals the development of the future President's character and shows how Lincoln's enormous capacity for growth enabled one of the least experienced men ever elected to high office to become a giant in the annals of American politics. And he depicts a man who was basically passive by nature, yet ambitious enough to take enormous risks and overcome repeated defeats.
Much more than a political biography, Lincoln seats us behind the desk of a President who was both a master of ambiguity and expediency and a great moral leader, as he makes the decisions that preserved the Union and shaped modern America.
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  • Simon & Schuster Audio | 
  • ISBN 9781442362727 | 
  • November 2012
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Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Discussion Points
  1. Lincoln was essentially a passive man. He was not formally educated. He repeatedly failed when running for various political offices. He was not considered a handsome man, and he was inexperienced and unprepared for the presidency. Yet all this considered, he still became one of the greatest presidents the United States has ever known. To what do you attribute this? How might the elements of Lincoln's character and his time have blended together to create a man so successful in casting off slavery and bringing the Union back together?
  2. How, in many ways, was Lincoln the most American of presidents?
  3. Donald brilliantly explores the development of Lincoln's character. Describe this development and its impact on the outcome of slavery and the Civil War. What in Lincoln's character led him to greatness?
  4. How did Lincoln's growing belief in a Higher Power sustain him through the agony of a country divided?
  5. In April of 1864, Lincoln wrote to Albert G. Hodges: "I claim not to have controlled events but confess plainly that events have controlled me." How is this accurate and not quite true at the same time?
  6. Though Donald's Lincoln is primarily about Lincoln's political life, Donald portrays Lincoln as a family man. Discuss Lincoln as a father and husband. What portrait emerges of Mary Todd Lincoln? How did she ultimately contribute to his political career, and in what
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