Mark E. Neely, Jr., gives us the first compact biography of Abraham Lincoln based on new scholarship. Neely, a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian, vividly recaptures the central place of politics in Lincoln’s life. Richly illustrated, nuanced and accessible, written with attention to the age in which Lincoln lived, yet ever alert to universal moral questions, this book provides a portrait of Lincoln as an extraordinary man in his own time and ours.
All of Neely’s strengths come into play here, not only his deep knowledge of Lincoln’s writings and positions but also his broader grasp of the issues and figures, both major and minor, of the period… In a time when the sense of America as a land of opportunity is being lost, when politicians are a despised class and when the American system itself is increasingly called into question, Abraham Lincoln still has much to say to us. Mark Neely’s book will help us to hear him.
Neely knows a very great deal about Abraham Lincoln. Even better, he knows how to distill that knowledge for the benefit of the rest of us. The Last Best Hope of Earth is a wonderfully clear, wonderfully concise, wonderfully satisfying look at what Lincoln meant to the Civil War generation, and what he should mean to us.
Neely examines aspects of Lincoln’s life that are most often summarized in a paragraph or two, or exiled to the footnotes. He treats them in depth, and the result is a portrait of Lincoln without the hagiography… Reading this book, it’s almost possible to hear Lincoln’s real voice, to see him walk into a room. That’s no small accomplishment for a biography.
A brief Lincoln biography beautifully illustrated with material drawn from a notable exhibition of Lincolnalia at the Huntington Library. In this new work, Neely masterfully synthesizes avast amount of scholarship to provide a gracefully written introduction to Lincoln, with heavy emphasis on the presidential years.
This tightly written and richly illustrated work is the best brief life of the sixteenth president.
- 320 pages
- 0-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
From this author
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