Lincoln by Fred Kaplan
The Biography of a Writer

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Synopsis

“Fred Kaplan’s Lincoln offers penetrating insights on Lincoln’s ability to explain complex ideas in language accessible to a broad range of readers and listeners.” — James M. McPherson, The New York Review of Books

“A fine, invaluable book. . . . Certain to become essential to our understanding of the 16th president. . . . Kaplan meticulously analyzes how Lincoln’s steadily maturing prose style enabled him to come to grips with slavery and, as his own views evolved, to express his deepening opposition to it.” — Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World

Fascinating. . . . persuasive [and] highly perceptive.” — Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

From acclaimed biographer Fred Kaplan comes an illuminating look at the life of Abraham Lincoln that chronicles his genius with language.

 

About Fred Kaplan

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Fred Kaplan writes the “War Stories” column in Slate and has also written many articles on politics and culture in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many other publications. A former Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Boston Globe, he is also the author of 1959, Daydream Believers, and The Wizards of Armageddon. He graduated from Oberlin College and has a PhD from MIT. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Brooke Gladstone.
 
Published October 16, 2008 by HarperCollins e-books. 418 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lincoln

Kirkus Reviews

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Although the immortal presidential addresses receive scant attention here—perhaps because they’ve been exhaustively covered in fine books like Harold Holzer’s Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President (2004) and Garry Wills’s Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Rem...

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Kirkus Reviews

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How the 16th president used--and transformed--the English language.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: The Biography of a W...

The New York Times

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The concert also featured several “Phantasiestücke” (“Fantasy Pieces”) by Schumann, who called Mendelssohn “the Mozart of the 19th century, the most illuminating of musicians.” Mr. Ax and Schumann share the same birthday, Mr. Ma pointed out, June 8.

May 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: The Biography of a W...

The New York Times

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Ludovic Morlot conducts the International Contemporary Ensemble in the last concert of Bach and Polyphonies on Monday evening at the Rose Theater in the Time Warner Center;

Aug 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: The Biography of a W...

The New York Times

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The historian James Oakes, who is a contributor to Eric Foner’s valuable new anthology, “Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World,” has suggested that for a time Lincoln historians paid attention to large, abstract forces, market conditions, abolition movements or other political ...

Dec 11 2008 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: The Biography of a W...

The New York Times

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The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center likes the Rose Studio on the other side of the floor, trading the view for coziness.

Dec 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: The Biography of a W...

The New York Times

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Grant and Theodore Roosevelt, were talented writers, but only Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson so far stand out as what Mr. Kaplan calls “canonical writers of American literature.” Unlike many politicians, Mr. Kaplan observes, Lincoln struggled throughout his career to “find effective, accurate lan...

Nov 06 2008 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: The Biography of a W...

The New York Times

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Fred Kaplan never mentions Barack Obama by name in his new book, but its focus on the role that language and writing played in one president’s life promises to shed light on the role they may play in another’s.

Nov 07 2008 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: The Biography of a W...

Publishers Weekly

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Three books venture into unexplored areas as Lincoln's 2009 bicentennial approaches. <REVIEW PUBLISHER=Reed Business Information-US RELEASEDATE=07/28/2008 LANGUAGE=EN SECRIGHTS=YES

Jul 28 2008 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: The Biography of a W...

The Wall Street Journal

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New angles, fresh insights and perennial truths

Feb 06 2009 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: The Biography of a W...

Examiner

Kaplan recalls William Dean Howells’ claim that Mark Twain was the “Lincoln of our literature.” He suggests rephrasing that with a focus on the 16th president of the United States: “Lincoln was the Twain of our politics.” He then observes, “Since Lincoln, no president has written his own words a...

Jun 30 2009 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: The Biography of a W...

The Washington Post

As Foner and most Lincoln scholars recognize, Lincoln's moral position was clear from the start: He detested slavery.

Nov 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: The Biography of a W...

Boston.com

Historians plumb the difficult and controversial topics of Lincoln's religious and racial attitudes in "Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World" (Norton, $27.95), edited by Eric Foner.

Jan 25 2009 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: The Biography of a W...

Library Journal

Now that the exact bicentennial birthdays of Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin and Edgar Allan Poe (older than the other two by 24 days) are over, we can take a breath and turn to other books being published this year because their subject in some way relates to a previous year with the number 9 a...

Apr 21 2009 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: The Biography of a W...

The New York Review of Books

“The monstrous injustice of slavery,” Lincoln had said back in 1854, “deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world—enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites.” The Civil War gave Lincoln the opportunity to attack this “monstrous i...

Sep 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Lincoln: The Biography of a W...

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