Abraham Lincoln: The Making of America #3

 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
448 0
Abraham Lincoln: The Making of America #3
Age Range
10+
Release Date
September 04, 2018
ISBN
978-1419731594
Buy This Book
      
The third installment of the Making of America series, Abraham Lincoln, tells of one of our most beloved presidents. Born in a cabin deep in the backwoods of Kentucky, growing up in a family considered “the poorest of the poor,” Lincoln rose to become the sixteenth president of the United States. As president, he guided the United States through the Civil War, helped end slavery in America, and strengthened the federal government. Unlike other biographies, the Making of America series goes beyond individual narratives linking influential figures to create an overarching story of America’s growth. The first three books in the series, read together, tell the story of American constitutional history from the founding of the nation through the end of the Civil War. The stories can also be read on their own and are the perfect way to get young readers excited about American history. The book includes selections of Lincoln’s writing, a bibliography, and an index.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Honestly Abe
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
A highly accessible biographical overview of (arguably) the most renowned and history-altering of all the United States presidents. The book tracks and examines the life of Abraham Lincoln—from his unremarkable birth and monetarily/intellectually impoverished upbringing, to his time as an indentured laborer—on to his courtship of Mary Todd and budding legal endeavors… and ultimately, to his political ascension and assassination.

Kudos to Teri Kanefield for such an engaging non-fiction format. The regularly interspersed images and paragraphs worth of footnote asides really helped break up the information and stave off reading fatigue. It also helped put certain concepts in proper context. And beyond mere dates and factoids, there is a concerted effort to convey Lincoln’s motivations and personality. It presents the environment and evolution of his value system, the reasoning behind his divergence from his immediate family’s political leanings, his ongoing struggles with melancholy (i.e. depression), and the terrible personal losses he endured. And Kanefield manages to do so without the use of manipulative or bias word choices.

Note: While some facts I simply had never learned during my inadequate U.S. history education, there are some things that felt more like surprising (yet intriguing) points of conjecture. For example: The book dwells often on how odd in physical appearance and proportion Abraham Lincoln happened to be. And it strongly implies that Lincoln was a sure political bet only to his wife, Mary—who seemed determined, even before their courtship, that she would be married to a U.S. President. Indeed, the book suggests Lincoln may not have persisted in his discouraging political career had Mary not nagged (er…coaxed?) him into it.

There was far more information on Mary Todd, and the sometimes contentious marriage dynamic between her and Abe, than I’d ever before encountered. This reader had never realized that the first lady's family was largely pro-confederacy. And as a result, "Southerners scorned her as a traitor to her home state and land of her birth. Northerners suspected her of being disloyal to the Union because she had close relatives in the Confederate army." Her life seems nearly as befitting a biography as her husband’s.

Regarding the aftermath of Lincoln’s death, the book postulates: "Booth was stunned by how the assassination was portrayed in the press. He had spent so much time among like-minded people who hated Lincoln, and he had read so many newspaper accounts denouncing Lincoln as a tyrant bent on destroying the Constitution and personal liberty, that he expected to be hailed as a hero. Instead ... he was being hunted down like a beast, while Lincoln was held up ... as a martyred saint."
While it's fascinating to think that the echo chamber John Wilkes Booth lived in led him to believe he'd be publicly lauded for murdering Lincoln... I just wonder how they know this. Letters? There doesn’t appear to be a source for this cited.

“Confederates called Lincoln a dictator and fanatic who must be stopped by any means, including 'revolution or private assassination.’”

I appreciate that this book really explores how much criticism Lincoln received in his day--both from slave owners, who were enraged at how much he was pushing for change--and from his fellow abolitionists, who didn't think he was doing enough. History often shows that the most effective world-changers were those who made incremental alterations on their way to an ultimate goal, rather than imposing an abrupt all-or-nothing approach. But there have been, and always will be, those who disparage a moderated strategy.

"I hope to stand firm enough to not go backward, and yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the country's cause." --Abraham Lincoln

Yet, some in recent years have chosen to interpret the approaches and motivations of many historical figures through an inflexible modern-day lens of moral superiority—resulting in cynicism and even vilification toward figures who are entirely too dead to defend themselves. This book, however, gives no quarter to the dying trend of portraying Lincoln as a mere political opportunist.
-"Under Cox's theory of Lincoln, which has gained wide acceptance among scholars, Lincoln was a practical statesman and not an idealist. At each stage he was willing to settle for what he could accomplish, while remaining alert for opportunities to achieve his long-desired objective of liberty and justice for all."

-"As another historian explained, Lincoln "always sought the meeting point between what was right in theory and what could be achieved in practice." Lincoln saw no point in putting forward plans or proposals that couldn't possibly win popular support."

Ultimately, this was an enlightening overview of an indisputably influential life. By the end, readers will feel as though they better know Lincoln the man, rather than simply knowing a few more things about Lincoln the historical figure.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 1

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Instant Karma
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
In New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer's young adult...
Put Yourself in My Shoes
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Cricket goes for a walk, he finds Ladybug searching...
Selma
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Selma is asked: What is happiness? ...
Benjamin's Blue Feet
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A young bird with a flair for discovery and invention...
Pocket Piggies: I Love You!
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
What’s the best thing in the world? I...
Everything Under the Sun
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sun’s Reach is in dire peril. The last...
Lizzy Albright and the Attic Window
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lizzy Albright, a red-headed, freckle-faced girl from Overland Park, Kansas,...
Send Me Their Souls (Bring Me Their Hearts, #3)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
There are worse things than death. ...
The Walrus and the Caribou
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
When the earth was new, words had the power to...
The Elephant's Umbrella
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Elephant is always ready and willing to share her prized...
Calvin Gets the Last Word
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The dictionary as narrator? YES! ...
Goblin King (Permafrost, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Kara Barbieri's Goblin King, the stunning sequel in the...
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Morrigan battles a new evil as a strange, frightening illness...
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* From New York...
Earth-Shattering Events: Volcanoes, earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis and other natural disasters
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
An atlas of the most extreme meteorological and geological disasters...
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns...

Latest Member Reviews

Put Yourself in My Shoes
 
4.0
"PUT YOURSELF IN MY SHOES is a cute picture book about empathy and friendship. Cricket is going on a walk..."
Selma
 
4.0
"SELMA is a simple book that seeks to tackle a complex topic- what is happiness? The answer goes back to..."
Benjamin's Blue Feet
 
4.0
"BENJAMIN'S BLUE FEET is a picture book that deals with body image and insecurity. Benjamin is a blue-footed booby and..."
Pocket Piggies: I Love You!
 
4.5
"POCKET PIGGIES: I LOVE YOU! is another adorable collection of photographs of real pocket pigs. Each page features a short..."
The Walrus and the Caribou
 
4.5
"THE WALRUS AND THE CARIBOU is a delightful picture book that captures Indigenous folklore about the creation of animals. Guk..."
The Elephant's Umbrella
 
3.5
"THE ELEPHANT'S UMBRELLA is a picture book with great illustrations and a moral of kindness. The elephant has a special..."
Calvin Gets the Last Word
 
4.0
"CALVIN GETS THE LAST WORD is a cute picture book told from the perspective of Calvin's beloved dictionary. He is..."
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #3)
 
5.0
"HOLLOWPOX is an engaging middle grade fantasy that takes the reader on a magical journey to the Wundrous Society. Morrigan..."
How to Catch a Yeti
 
5.0
"HOW TO CATCH A YETI is a delightful picture book about a group of children who, as the title implies,..."
Along Came a Fox
 
4.0
"ALONG CAME A FOX is the story of Bramble, who is excited to find some fireflies. Her friends tell her..."
Rosa's Big Pizza Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
5.0
"ROSA'S BIG PIZZA EXPERIMENT is a cute picture book about the process to make a pizza, beginning with the flour,..."
Rosa's Big Sunflower Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
4.0
"ROSA'S BIG SUNFLOWER EXPERIMENT is a cute picture book that brings science and plant facts to young children. Rosa and..."