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Sandburg's Lincoln
11-17-2023, 10:31 AM
Post: #1
Sandburg's Lincoln
As I'm sure everyone here knows I have studied the work of Carl Sandburg as it related to Lincoln. I have written one article about Sandburg and James G. Randall for the Journal of Illinois History and I will feature Sandburg prominently in my biography of Ida M. Tarbell. However, I have never read Sandburg from cover to cover. I decided to change that, albeit in a different way. I recently was a member of Audible and saw that Sandburg's single volume book was available. I decided I would listen to it. At 44 hours it was a long slog, but given that it was Sandburg it didn't seem too difficult. The single volume was published in the 1950s, long after the multi volume set was published, and Sandburg took the advice of many friends such as Harry Pratt among others.

The book is likely more pleasing to those scandalized by Sandburg's errors in the multi volumes, but it definitely is not the prose poem that was the earlier work. It is a serviceable book for someone interested in reading a well-written life, but it wouldn't be my.first choice. That still goes to Benjamin Thomas. Distilling six volumes down to one is not easy for even the best writer, but I can only recommend this if you want to be able to say you have read Sandburg. If that's your motivation, reading the multivolume set would make more sense to me.


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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