Recommend
26 
 Thumb up
 Hide
64 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Abraham Lincoln rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Brian Morris
United States
Raytown
Missouri
flag msg tools
2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, 24th Michigan
badge
24th Michigan Monument Gettysburg Pa
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Tomorrow is the premiere of the new Steven Spielberg film Lincoln and I've gotten a couple of private messages from people asking for book recommendations on the man. So I thought a thread on the topic was warranted.

There are a lot of books on Lincoln. To give you an idea I just put in the words "Abraham Lincoln" into the Amazon.com book search and came up with 38,162 related titles. He is perhaps the most written about man in history. As such this is by far from a comprehensive list but includes a number of books looking at Lincoln from a variety of angles. I'm sure others will have titles they wish to add and I encourage them to do so.

I began studying the civil war well over a decade ago. In the ensuing years I have read literally hundreds of books. The study of the civil war is by necessity a study of Lincoln. Over the last several years I have made a special point to study the man himself and came to a rather surprising conclusion that I really like the man personally. That may sound like an odd comment but I found Lincoln and myself had a lot in common. No, I'm not comparing myself to Lincoln but I have a feeling if we sat down for a beer one night we would have gotten along very well. We both have a strong sense of humor, interest in technological gadgets, reading and history. We also had personal events as young men that were similar that I won't go into. The end result of my reading was a great respect for not just Lincoln the President but also Lincoln the person.

So without further chit chat here is my recommended reading list for those wishing to delve more into Abraham Lincoln.

A. Lincoln: A Biography by Ronald C. White:
There are literally thousands of general biographies on Lincoln. This one I picked up by chance. Someone at a bookstore had taken it off the shelf, looked at it and sat it down on a table rather than putting it back properly. I am thankful for their doing so because I picked it up and found it to be superb. There are a number of good general biographies of Lincoln but this is the one I recommend.

1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History by Charles Bracelen Flood:
Charles Flood has written 3 excellent civil war biographies. His other two works cover Lee after the war and Grand and Sherman's friendship. This one covers Lincoln specifically in 1864 with the war at it's height and Lincoln waging his own political battles including re-election.

Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by
Edward Steers Jr.:
The definitive work on the Lincoln assassination. Well researched. The author proves without a doubt that Doctor Mudd's name is still mud. This is one of the very few civil war books my wife (a true crime buff) has ever read. She enjoyed it so much that she even read the following as a follow up.

Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson:
For decades the 12 days between Lincoln's assassination and Booth's death were a mystery. For seven of those twelve days Booth's whereabouts were unaccounted for. It wasn't until a man came forward many years later to admit that he hid Booth that the world learned the full story of Booth's run from justice. A really good read even for non history buffs.

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin:
Ok, I'm going to say it. This book is overrated. The author is very wordy and tends to take what could be said in two sentences and make it half a page. She also has a tendency to pound you in the head with a point. She will spend several pages on something, move onto something else only to come back and hit you with the same point for another several pages in case you didn't get it the first time. 200 pages of this book could have been trimmed without any loss of information. Still it is well researched and does a good job of covering the subject matter so I do recommend it for those want to dig into Lincoln in depth.

Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse by James L. Swanson:
I include this book with mixed feelings. It is really two books. The first covers Lincoln from his assassination through his internment in Springfield. It's a fascinating look at how his murder effected the country in the days immediately following. It's very well done and unique. The problem with the book is that Swanson makes an over the top effort to portray Jefferson Davis in the best of light. I don't mind a balanced view but you can literally see for example the author doing back flips to avoid mentioning Davis' views on slavery. At some points the author's shining up of Davis will leave you shaking your head but still the book is worth reading for the Lincoln part.

Stealing Lincoln's Body by Thomas J. Craughwell:
Perhaps the oddest title I will list here. The story of Lincoln didn't end with his internment in Springfield. What came afterwards was an attempt to steal his body for ransom which resulted in a group of men forming a sort of secret society to protect Lincoln's remains which were secretly hidden away for decades.

Lincoln for President: An Unlikely Candidate, An Audacious Strategy, and the Victory No One Saw Coming by Bruce Chadwick:
The title for this one is over the top and downright silly as Lincoln wasn't an unlikely candidate (he was second in votes for Vice President at the 1856 convention), his strategy was pretty straight forward and many people saw it coming. Still a good book that covers the 1860 election.

Lincoln and His Admirals by Craig L. Symonds:
If you haven't read any books by Symonds you should. This book covers Lincoln's specific dealings with the naval side of the civil war including names like Gideon Welles, John Dahlgren and Charles Wilkes. The Trent Affair is covered thoroughly and the author has some rather insightful bits on Lincoln and slavery.
22 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger Hobden
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Napoleon is the most written about politician / general in history.

EDIT: corrected, since naturally, no one can compare to some of the founders of monotheist religions that have brought us such merriment throughout world history.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kyle Seely
United States
Carmel
IN
flag msg tools
badge
Winner of the C. Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I will second Charles Bracelen Flood as a good author about this particular period. I feel that his particular area of expertise is Grant (one of my favorite Americans). His book Grant's Final Victory: Ulysses S. Grant's Heroic Last Year is fantastic.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger Hobden
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

is the only book I have ever read about Lincoln, and I found it very, very good, but, naturally, I had no other point of comparison.

So if there are some better ones, they must be very good indeed.

Based on your recommendation, I will look into the book by White.

Indeed, if what I have read up till now is even half-true, Lincoln really seemed to be a remarkably honest and fair-minded individual like has rarely been seen in a politician in history (something one could never say about Napoleon angry).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K G
United States
Delafield
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Movember
Avatar
mb
Sandburg's biography is a treasure.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
flag msg tools
Slowed - BGG's moderation policies have driven me partially from here
badge
http://thegamebox.byethost15.com/smf/
Avatar
mb
Mallet wrote:
Napoleon is the most written about man in history. :)


Odd. I'd think Jesus/Mohammed was. Especially if we included writing outside
of published books.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger Hobden
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
calandale wrote:
Mallet wrote:
Napoleon is the most written about man in history.


Odd. I'd think Jesus/Mohammed was. Especially if we included writing outside
of published books.


Correction made.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Watne
United States
Burlington
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Good times.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Team of Rivals is excellent.

Edit: But your criticisms are all very valid points. I enjoyed it for my part, but I'm not too well-read on the topic.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Morris
United States
Raytown
Missouri
flag msg tools
2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, 24th Michigan
badge
24th Michigan Monument Gettysburg Pa
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
thegreybetween wrote:
Team of Rivals is excellent.

Edit: But your criticisms are all very valid points. I enjoyed it for my part, but I'm not too well-read on the topic.


It's not a bad book by any means and I wouldn't have included it if I didn't think it had justifiable value for people to read. The book just isn't the be all to end all it sometimes get credited with. The book has gotten a lot of play over the years because it's been connected to Spielberg's Lincoln which has been in the works for a good 5+ years. So every time the film got mention as a project that Spielberg would be doing they bring up the fact that the film is based off of the book. The truth is the film covers Lincoln's work towards the 13th Amendment while the book covers the political dealings inside Lincoln's cabinet. Now the book may be Spielberg's inspiration for doing a Lincoln film but truthfully the book and the film are different subject wise within Lincoln's life and presidency.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michał M.
Poland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ro0SlVPlWE

Well, he lived in a cabin way down by the creek
He ran through the dust in his bare feet
But they didn't know that one fine day
That he would rule this U.S.A.
And be the best leader in all the land


Yes, Young Abe Lincoln make a tall, tall man
Yes, Young Abe Lincoln make a tall, tall man


He walked many miles to school every day
And no kind of weather could keep him away
A learnin’ to read and a learnin’ to write
He whipped many men in a wrestlin’ fight
He whipped many of ‘em with just one hand


Yes, Young Abe Lincoln make a tall, tall man
Yes, Young Abe Lincoln make a tall, tall man


Now he was admitted to the lawyer’s bar
People seeked his help from near and far
He could talk a country mile in an old court room
Make a man laugh whose life was doomed
He out talked Douglas or fancy Dan


Yes, Young Abe Lincoln make a tall, tall man
Yes, Young Abe Lincoln make a tall, tall man


We had a big war while he was President
Finally won with the U.S. Grant
He heard both sides of the battle cry
He hated to see those soldiers die
He hated to fight his own south land


Yes, Young Abe Lincoln make a tall, tall man
Yes, Young Abe Lincoln make a tall, tall man

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Morris
United States
Raytown
Missouri
flag msg tools
2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, 24th Michigan
badge
24th Michigan Monument Gettysburg Pa
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sluggonics wrote:
I will second Charles Bracelen Flood as a good author about this particular period. I feel that his particular area of expertise is Grant (one of my favorite Americans). His book Grant's Final Victory: Ulysses S. Grant's Heroic Last Year is fantastic.



I'm a little burnt out with Grant at the moment but this one is on my to read list. Flood's book on Grand and Sherman is a must read. The problem I have with Grant is he suffers from the same hero worship that clouds Lee and Jackson. It's very hard to find a book on Robert E Lee that is a frank appraisal of the man and the same is true of Grant. Both men were incredible commanders and their deeds stand on their own merits while they also deserve to be recognized for their failings. It is unfortunate that some feel the need in order to lift their hero up they need to attack other men associated with them.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel K
United States
Minnetrista
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think part of the reason the Goodwin book got a lot more popular reception than it otherwise might have was because it represented her big comeback. She had spent a couple years as an outcast after getting nailed for lifting other authors' material without attribution in a couple of her books.

Still, I'm not ashamed to say I enjoyed the book.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michał M.
Poland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
It is unfortunate that some feel the need in order to lift their hero up they need to attack other men associated with them.


It's even more unfortunate that those people can't see that by doing this they strip their heroes of their greatness.
It's not a big deal to be great when you are infallible. But to be great despite your mistakes - this is true greatness.

To be great human you must be human being (or Mr. Spock).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Morris
United States
Raytown
Missouri
flag msg tools
2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, 24th Michigan
badge
24th Michigan Monument Gettysburg Pa
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Grant is often portrayed as this simple humble man who stayed out of the political fray. I think that makes him sound simple minded which he was not. He was a brilliant strategist, strong willed and decisive. He also unfortunately tended to be a poor judge of character. Both as a general and President he often would trust people who would take outrageous advantage of his trust while shortchanging others who he did not consider part of his inner circle. This led to so much corruption within his administration that James Garfield was against his own will nominated for President by Grant's own party against Grant to prevent him from winning a third term.

Grant as a general had no peers in terms of his strategic brilliance but as a President he was no Abe Lincoln.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Daglish
United Kingdom
Cheadle
Cheshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mallet wrote:
Napoleon is the most written about politician / general in history.

EDIT: corrected, since naturally, no one can compare to some of the founders of monotheist religions that have brought us such merriment throughout world history.


there are many others that exceed Old Abe, either in terms of language, biographies or total words.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Stuart
United States
Los Alamos
New Mexico
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mallet wrote:
Napoleon is the most written about politician / general in history.

EDIT: corrected, since naturally, no one can compare to some of the founders of monotheist religions that have brought us such merriment throughout world history.


But then, they were neither politicians nor generals (except by accident, as was the case with Mohammed), and never aspired to be. So your assertion about Napoleon stands.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
flag msg tools
Slowed - BGG's moderation policies have driven me partially from here
badge
http://thegamebox.byethost15.com/smf/
Avatar
mb
bob_santafe wrote:
Mallet wrote:
Napoleon is the most written about politician / general in history. :)

EDIT: corrected, since naturally, no one can compare to some of the founders of monotheist religions that have brought us such merriment throughout world history. :D


But then, they were neither politicians nor generals (except by accident, as was the case with Mohammed), and never aspired to be. So your assertion about Napoleon stands.


Look up a few posts, and you'll see the original.

The correction was to impose that distinction.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Stuart
United States
Los Alamos
New Mexico
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mrbeankc wrote:
Grant is often portrayed as this simple humble man who stayed out of the political fray. I think that makes him sound simple minded which he was not. He was a brilliant strategist, strong willed and decisive. He also unfortunately tended to be a poor judge of character...


His most glaring error of judgement during the Civil War being, in my view, his failure to appreciate Thomas.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
G Quinn
United States
Unspecified
New Jersey
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Some perspective on the Lincoln movie.

The "Corwin Amendment", which was designed to make it impossible to amend the Constitution so as to eliminate slavery. Lincoln openly and unambiguously endorsed it in his First Inaugural. "I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution…. has passed Congress, to the effect that the federal government, shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the states, including that of persons held to service…. I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable."

Lincoln in his debate with Douglas:
"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, — that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, not to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality."

Lincoln's own explanation for the war:
"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union."

Not someone for whom I can have respect.


3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
flag msg tools
Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
badge
Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dior wrote:
Some perspective on the Lincoln movie.

The "Corwin Amendment", which was designed to make it impossible to amend the Constitution so as to eliminate slavery. Lincoln openly and unambiguously endorsed it in his First Inaugural. "I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution…. has passed Congress, to the effect that the federal government, shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the states, including that of persons held to service…. I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable."

Lincoln in his debate with Douglas:
"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, — that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, not to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality."

Lincoln's own explanation for the war:
"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union."

Not someone for whom I can have respect.


He was always clear that his top priority was to save the Union.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K G
United States
Delafield
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Movember
Avatar
mb
G., I hope you'll read more about Lincoln. You'll find that he was opposed to slavery. I admire the man, even while knowing his faults.

Incidentally, I think the Corwin Admendment is still before the States. Isn't that remarkable?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel
United States
Santee
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
wifwendell wrote:


He was always clear that his top priority was to save the Union.


I guess you could say it was saved geographically...

Plan on seeing the movie? Keep these things in mind...
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig13/rossini4.1.1.html
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kyle Seely
United States
Carmel
IN
flag msg tools
badge
Winner of the C. Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mrbeankc wrote:
Sluggonics wrote:
I will second Charles Bracelen Flood as a good author about this particular period. I feel that his particular area of expertise is Grant (one of my favorite Americans). His book Grant's Final Victory: Ulysses S. Grant's Heroic Last Year is fantastic.



I'm a little burnt out with Grant at the moment but this one is on my to read list. Flood's book on Grand and Sherman is a must read. The problem I have with Grant is he suffers from the same hero worship that clouds Lee and Jackson. It's very hard to find a book on Robert E Lee that is a frank appraisal of the man and the same is true of Grant. Both men were incredible commanders and their deeds stand on their own merits while they also deserve to be recognized for their failings. It is unfortunate that some feel the need in order to lift their hero up they need to attack other men associated with them.



I've actually found what I've read on Grant to have very little of the hero-worship that accompanies biographies of Southern generals. I didn't find Flood's book to be heavy on praise the way, say, Goodwin's Team of Rivals was for Lincoln.

The Lost Cause movement during the late 19th and first half of the 20th century did much to erase Grant's post-war contributions from the American consciousness. Only more recently has there been a true "reappraisal" of Grant in the post-war period. His contributions during the war were more difficult to diminish (the attempt there was much more roundabout: it didn't matter who the Union generals were - their numbers and resources made victory inevitable, thus they didn't even need any tactical or operational skill), given that his own personal memoirs were quickly recognized as a masterpiece of American autobiography shortly after they were published.

In fact, for those who have studied Grant, it shouldn't be surprising that he wrote such a memorable autobiography. His mastery of language, and ability to put his thoughts to paper in the most succinct and efficient way possible is one of the main factors in the efficacy of his generalship. The importance of mastery of written orders cannot be overlooked in military command of that era.

Flood's book on the last year of Grant's life has some great examples of Grant's writing from that period - and it shares all those qualities that would benefit a general on a 19th century battlefield.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
flag msg tools
Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
badge
Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dandechino wrote:
wifwendell wrote:


He was always clear that his top priority was to save the Union.


I guess you could say it was saved geographically...

Plan on seeing the movie? Keep these things in mind...
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig13/rossini4.1.1.html


Spare me.
21 
 Thumb up
0.15
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ted Conn
United States
Lee's Summit
Missouri
flag msg tools
You are not brought upon this world to get it!
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dandechino wrote:


Plan on seeing the movie? Keep these things in mind...
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig13/rossini4.1.1.html


Pure dreck. There were so many suppositions and superficial judgments in that article...I wouldn't even know where to begin. Bush-league journalism, that's for sure!
10 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.