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Abraham Lincoln; a life; v.2. (reprint, 2008).


Abraham Lincoln; a life; v.2. (reprint, 2008)

Burlingame, Michael.

Johns Hopkins U. Press


1034 pages



This is the first of two volumes in Michael Burlingame's biography of Abraham Lincoln; it covers Lincoln's life up to the start of the Civil War. In an opening note, Burlingame compares himself to previous Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg, underscoring his scholarly agenda as opposed to Sandburg's aesthetic one. To that end, unlike previous biographies of Lincoln, he utilizes the Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress, which were not available before 1947. He also makes use of recently uncovered legal documents from Lincoln's Illinois practice as a lawyer and draws on underutilized circumstantial documentation (e.g. newspapers and personal observations by contemporaries). He takes a probabilistic approach to history and admits of lending his own judgments when motivations or actions are unclear. Burlingame is the chair of Lincoln Studies at U. of Illinois.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Aug 1, 2013
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