Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman
Lincoln is presented here as I have never seen him, in both text and photographs. The details about him surprised me; I knew, of course, that he was extremely tall and had had a limited formal education, but I had no idea his voice was high pitched and that he had so much trouble finding a good general during the Civil War and that he was shy. I also loved the fact that though he had a total of a year of schooling he was able to read and study himself for two years and pass his bar exam. The Civil War years were a revelation. Poor Lincoln went through general after general who was afraid to act. And Lincoln’s assassination was so unexpected, coming so close to the end of the war. I could really feel Lincoln’s anguish in trying to figure out how to lure back the rebel states without cruelty yet also closing the door forever on slavery.