Saturday, October 29, 2022

Review of "Abraham Lincoln: A Photographic Story of a Life," by Tanya Lee Stone

 Review of

Abraham Lincoln: A Photographic Story of a Life, by Tanya Lee Stone, ISBN 0756608341

Five out of five stars

A great president in a time of great need

 It is almost impossible for modern people to understand how ingrained slavery was in the American social fabric before 1860. It was commonly referred to as “the peculiar institution” and a large percentage of the people in the southern states considered it a fundamental part of their society. Most of those that did not own slaves and were not totally in favor of it still considered black people to be inferior to whites.

 The election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency “forced” the southern states to leave the union and start a great war where over 600,000 men died. This was roughly 2% of the population and such a war now would lead to over 6 million deaths. Before the war began, no one really believed that so many would die.

 This book about Abraham Lincoln captures his basic humanity, yet also his nerves of steel. As the casualties and criticism mounted, he never considered a negotiated peace with the Confederacy, something a less timid, determined man would have pursued. Furthermore, he enacted emancipation when it was not yet a popular idea.

 Written for young people, this book is an excellent primer on both the life of the sixteenth American president as well as the deadliest war in American history.

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