Lincoln Discussion Symposium

Full Version: Abe by David S. Reynolds
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Picked up a copy of David Reynold's new book Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times. From the reviews I have read it appears to be a study of Lincoln's life in the context of the society at the time. I have no idea when I'll get to it, but if anyone else has it and actually finishes it, I would appreciate your thoughts. One thing. The book retails for $45.

Sounds like the author is approaching his new Lincoln volume like he did his last book about Walt Whitman which was outstanding.

He also did a biography of John Brown. I've never read any of his stuff, but this looks interesting and massive. It clocks in at over 1,000 pages,

Here is the Barnes & Noble web page for the book

At only a 1,000 + pages, Rob when can we expect your book review ?

I'll give you my review right now. It's heavy. Other than that, maybe in 2023.

I've read Waking Giant - America in the Age of Jackson by David S. Reynolds and thought it was well-researched and well-written, so I asked Santa for Abe and she came through. Being a Lincoln assassination nerd, I always read that part of a Lincoln biography first and found this:

“Nonetheless, on the morning of April 14, Lincoln went to the War Department and asked Stanton whether his muscular assistant secretary Thomas T. Eckert would go with him and Mrs. Lincoln to the theater. Hoping to quash the theater plan, Stanton refused the president’s request. Lincoln countered by saying that Eckert was so strong that he once broke five iron pokers over his arm—he was the perfect bodyguard. Continuing to try to discourage Lincoln, Stanton said he had an important job for Eckert to do that evening. Lincoln then approached Eckert himself, who knew of Stanton’s feelings and told the president he was very busy and could not go.” [page 893, citing “D. H. Bates, Lincoln in the Telegraph Office, 366-68,” n. 29, p. 1027.]

I've researched that and believe it is a myth. See:

That is not to disparage this book in any manner, as I have only read a very small portion of it. It is a very readable text and well-footnoted. My point is that some of what has been become "accepted history" is simply by virtue of citing the same myth and source over and over.
Excellent point about "accepted history".......I read ABE by Professor Reynolds, and I thought it was excellent. It made me see Lincoln in a new light, challenged some of my long-held beliefs about him, and made me view him more in his era and in the experiences of his world. The "cultural" spin on things was refreshing. It takes me a long time to read a book of that length, but it was well worth it.
Reference URL's