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10 Lincoln/Civil War books that most influenced your thinking.
02-28-2019, 10:28 AM (This post was last modified: 02-28-2019 01:23 PM by LincolnMan.)
Post: #1
10 Lincoln/Civil War books that most influenced your thinking.
I recently was asked on FB to list the 10 books that most influenced my life. I would like to ask the same of my fellow Forum members. I think this will be fun. The lists don’t have to be in any particular order. Also. Let’s say multiple volumes in a set can count as one book?
Here’s mine:
1) Abraham Lincoln by Carl Sandburg
2) Battles and Leaders of the Civil War
3) The Civil War by Shelby Foote
4) Abraham Lincoln by Benjamin P. Thomas
5) Twenty Days by Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt and Philip Kunhardt
6) The Army of the Potomac Trilogy by Bruce Catton
7) American Brutus by Michael Kauffman
8) Come Retribution by William Tidwell
9) The Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant
10) Lust for Fame: The Stage Career of John Wilkes Booth by Gordon Samples.

All great books!

Bill Nash
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02-28-2019, 11:29 AM
Post: #2
RE: 10 Lincoln/Civil War books that most influenced your thinking.
I guess mine would have to be the following:

1. Abraham Lincoln by Carl Sandburg
2. Grant by Ron Chernow
3. Washington by Ron Chernow
4. Blood on the Moon by Edward Steers
5. Assassins Accomplice by Kate Clifford Larson
6. Gettysburg by Noah Andre Trudeau
7. Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
8. The Madness of Mary Lincoln by Jason Emerson
9. Stealing Lincoln's Body by Thomas Craughwell
10. Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly

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02-28-2019, 04:02 PM
Post: #3
RE: 10 Lincoln/Civil War books that most influenced your thinking.
Great list! I could chosen some of them myself.

Bill Nash
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02-28-2019, 04:45 PM
Post: #4
RE: 10 Lincoln/Civil War books that most influenced your thinking.
Thanks Bill. Your list is quite impressive as well.

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03-02-2019, 08:36 PM (This post was last modified: 03-02-2019 08:44 PM by Rob Wick.)
Post: #5
RE: 10 Lincoln/Civil War books that most influenced your thinking.
Bill,

I wanted to wait until I finished an article before taking the time to comment here. My problem is that I can't come up with only ten books. Instead, I've come up with authors who have strongly influenced my thinking (many have written multiple books that I find compelling).

10. John Y. Simon
9. William Herndon and Jesse Weik
8. Don Fehrenbacher
7. Richard Current
6. Benjamin Thomas
5. Paul Angle
4. Carl Sandburg
3. Ruth Painter Randall
2. James G. Randall
1. Ida M. Tarbell

Of course I put Tarbell first, given the focus of my research, but given the amount of work she did over her life on Lincoln, among other topics, her importance is underestimated. I didn't rank Sandburg as high, because while his six-volume biography is magnificent, and his single-volume distillation is a masterpiece, his other work on Lincoln is too uneven in terms of how it moved the story ahead. Although John Y. Simon hasn't written monographs, per se, his work on Ann Rutledge and editorship of the Grant papers, places him on my list. Finally, I listed Ruth and James Randall separate. Both are deserving of individual note. I would also have to mention the work of Benjamin Quarles, John Hope Franklin and Carter Woodson, although with only ten spots, it's hard to put 30 names on there.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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03-03-2019, 05:03 AM
Post: #6
RE: 10 Lincoln/Civil War books that most influenced your thinking.
Bill, I decided I am unable to do this as one book stands above all others, and I find it impossible to list 2-10 among the 400+ Lincoln-related books I own. Without the effect this one book had on me, I am not sure I would own any more than a handful of Lincoln books as I am not generally a huge reader.

1. Twenty Days

Twenty Days blew me away back in the 1960s. It had just the right combination of photos and text, and for me, it was uniquely priceless, and it motivated me to learn more about our 16th President and his family. Prior to Twenty Days I think I was a typical Illinoisan who knew a little more about Lincoln than the average American because I think Illinois schools spend more time on him than the other states. Twenty Days stoked my interest in Lincoln like nothing else could. That one book truly changed my life.
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03-03-2019, 09:13 AM (This post was last modified: 03-03-2019 09:16 AM by LincolnMan.)
Post: #7
RE: 10 Lincoln/Civil War books that most influenced your thinking.
(03-02-2019 08:36 PM)Rob Wick Wrote:  Bill,

I wanted to wait until I finished an article before taking the time to comment here. My problem is that I can't come up with only ten books. Instead, I've come up with authors who have strongly influenced my thinking (many have written multiple books that I find compelling).

10. John Y. Simon
9. William Herndon and Jesse Weik
8. Don Fehrenbacher
7. Richard Current
6. Benjamin Thomas
5. Paul Angle
4. Carl Sandburg
3. Ruth Painter Randall
2. James G. Randall
1. Ida M. Tarbell

Of course I put Tarbell first, given the focus of my research, but given the amount of work she did over her life on Lincoln, among other topics, her importance is underestimated. I didn't rank Sandburg as high, because while his six-volume biography is magnificent, and his single-volume distillation is a masterpiece, his other work on Lincoln is too uneven in terms of how it moved the story ahead. Although John Y. Simon hasn't written monographs, per se, his work on Ann Rutledge and editorship of the Grant papers, places him on my list. Finally, I listed Ruth and James Randall separate. Both are deserving of individual note. I would also have to mention the work of Benjamin Quarles, John Hope Franklin and Carter Woodson, although with only ten spots, it's hard to put 30 names on there.

Best
Rob

Great list Rob. I know it is very difficult for us to narrow it to only 10.

(03-03-2019 05:03 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  Bill, I decided I am unable to do this as one book stands above all others, and I find it impossible to list 2-10 among the 400+ Lincoln-related books I own. Without the effect this one book had on me, I am not sure I would own any more than a handful of Lincoln books as I am not generally a huge reader.

1. Twenty Days

Twenty Days blew me away back in the 1960s. It had just the right combination of photos and text, and for me, it was uniquely priceless, and it motivated me to learn more about our 16th President and his family. Prior to Twenty Days I think I was a typical Illinoisan who knew a little more about Lincoln than the average American because I think Illinois schools spend more time on him than the other states. Twenty Days stoked my interest in Lincoln like nothing else could. That one book truly changed my life.

Great choice Roger! As you know, Twenty Days is on my list as well! As far as books pertaining specifically to the assassination- that book would be number 1 on my list.

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03-03-2019, 11:10 AM (This post was last modified: 03-03-2019 11:11 AM by davg2000.)
Post: #8
RE: 10 Lincoln/Civil War books that most influenced your thinking.
Great topic!

Here's my list:

10. MacKinlay Kantor, Andersonville
9. Shelby Foote, The Civil War (in tandem with the Ken Burns movie on PBS)
8. Edward Steers, Blood on the Moon
7. Benjamin Thomas, Lincoln
6. David Herbert Donald, Lincoln
5. Bruce Catton, [/i]Army of the Potomac Trilogy
4. Francis Trevelyan Miller,
The Photographic History of the Civil War
3. Michael Kauffman, [i]American Brutus

2. Dorothy Kunhardt and Philip Kunhardt, Twenty Days
1. William Herndon and Jesse Weik, The True Story of a Great Life

I'll probably second-guess myself with everything above #3. However, all ten of these are titles that I still think about, some of them years after having read them. Andersonville, for example, I think I read in the 1950's.
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03-03-2019, 01:38 PM
Post: #9
RE: 10 Lincoln/Civil War books that most influenced your thinking.
(03-03-2019 11:10 AM)davg2000 Wrote:  Great topic!

Here's my list:

10. MacKinlay Kantor, Andersonville
9. Shelby Foote, The Civil War (in tandem with the Ken Burns movie on PBS)
8. Edward Steers, Blood on the Moon
7. Benjamin Thomas, Lincoln
6. David Herbert Donald, Lincoln
5. Bruce Catton, [/i]Army of the Potomac Trilogy
4. Francis Trevelyan Miller,
The Photographic History of the Civil War
3. Michael Kauffman, [i]American Brutus

2. Dorothy Kunhardt and Philip Kunhardt, Twenty Days
1. William Herndon and Jesse Weik, The True Story of a Great Life

I'll probably second-guess myself with everything above #3. However, all ten of these are titles that I still think about, some of them years after having read them. Andersonville, for example, I think I read in the 1950's.

Great list!

Bill Nash
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03-23-2019, 08:19 PM
Post: #10
RE: 10 Lincoln/Civil War books that most influenced your thinking.
Just another post on this thread. I remember as a young student of Lincoln and the Civil War era the various books that I think were published by Bonanza Books? I’m talking about books like Campfires and Battlefields, The Photographic History of the Civil War, and other volumes (typically they were oversized). Does anyone remember these books? They were not expensive. They had lots of pictures—and most of all they were fun.

Bill Nash
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