Abraham Lincoln

A comprehensive look at the life of our 16th president by poet and historian Carl Sandburg

Poet and historian Carl Sandburg won a Pulitzer Prize for his comprehensive and authoritative biography of the life of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. In a life so often overshadowed by war and death, Sandburg drew from many sources to create a complete picture of the boy and the man that was President Lincoln. He describes an awkward, funny, self-educated young man who is driven to make something of himself. Lincoln breaks the barriers of class and education to become, unlike any other president, the symbol of freedom and the foremost son of democracy in the western world. He proved that democratic principles can overcome tyrants and aristocrats. Sandburg appropriately invokes an old woodmen's proverb to describe the legacy of Lincoln. He writes that a tree is best measured when it is down. Accordingly, the world could only truly assess the legacy of Lincoln once he was gone. Once the living story of Lincoln had ended the vast tradition of Lincoln had begun and it became mingled with myth, legend, and folklore. He belonged to everyone and reflected their ideals. Sandburg does a wonderful job of filtering through the myths and legends to find the real man; the man who grew up on the prairie and led a country through one of its darkest times. It is an interesting, eye-opening, and beautifully written biography of one of our greatest presidents. I am left wondering, as many probably do, what would have happened if he had lived. I recommend it to anyone interested in the history of the United States.