Abraham Lincoln: the Short and Simple Annals of the Poor
July 6, 2009 12:54 PM   Subscribe

Abraham Lincoln: A Life is a 2000 page, two volume, ten pound biography of America's sixteenth president. The original manuscript was edited for length and the only documentation included was for direct quotes (again, due to length considerations). If you still want more after reading it, the full-length manuscript and all the accompanying footnotes for Volume 1 are available online. Volume 2 to follow. The book is a culmination of author Michael Burlingame's career, much of it spent editing volumes of primary documents by Lincoln's contemporaries.
posted by marxchivist (17 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Now that I've settled in to read this thing (at least the first chapter), I'm glad it was edited down. He's repeating the hell out of himself in the first five pages.
posted by marxchivist at 1:00 PM on July 6, 2009

Shit! Thanks.

(I've just been re-watching the first episodes of Homicide, and really enjoying Crosetti's obsession with the "conspiracy" of Lincoln's assassination.)
posted by OmieWise at 1:12 PM on July 6, 2009

75 pages on his first seven years.

Biographies always start with the boring stuff.
posted by smackfu at 1:13 PM on July 6, 2009

The number of books about Lincoln is obscene. Probably more than anyone else, other than Jesus.
posted by stbalbach at 2:12 PM on July 6, 2009

posted by ElmerFishpaw at 2:16 PM on July 6, 2009

He believed “that while the population of the country had immensely increased, really great men were scarcer than they used to be.”
Yeah, plus ça change, baby.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:20 PM on July 6, 2009

How does it end?
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:24 PM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

This is great. I may actually buy the books, but until I do, this'll work.

You know folks, you're not obligated to start at Chapter 1. You're allowed to skip ahead to, say, his election to Congress.

BTW in conjunction with this I recommend David Blight's lectures from Yale University on The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877. Academic Earth has the video, and mp3 audio files of most of the lectures are available for download. Those for lectures 3 and 22-25 are missing for some reason. I am working on ripping a reasonable audio file from the video for these. MeFiMail me if you're interested, and I'll let you know if I can get a decent copy.

stbalbach: Remember Sturgeon's Law.
posted by mojohand at 2:28 PM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Halloween Jack: "How does it end?"

posted by The White Hat at 2:33 PM on July 6, 2009

How does it end?

The USS Lincoln hits an iceberg.
posted by chillmost at 2:43 PM on July 6, 2009

Awesome. Thanks for this. How could I not jump right to Chapter 7, what with this title:

“I Have Got the Preacher by the Balls”:
Pursuing a Seat in Congress (1843-1847)

posted by joe lisboa at 2:54 PM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

How does it end?

This explains it pretty clearly.
posted by FatherDagon at 3:08 PM on July 6, 2009

How does it end?

With a bang.
posted by dirigibleman at 3:18 PM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Abe twitters
posted by joelf at 3:52 PM on July 6, 2009

I read the first two chapters, and I'm amazed Lincoln lived to adulthood let alone learn how to read and get to be President. Living conditions were pretty harsh when and where he was a kid.
posted by marxchivist at 4:01 PM on July 6, 2009

I've been eyeing this for a while with an intent to purchase, but have no idea when I'll be able to make the time to read it. Judging from my brief glance at a few pages, though, Burlingame's writing voice seems like one I could spend a lot of time with.

(Another autobiography of a significant American that has a similar amount of depth is J. A. Leo Lemay's The Life of Benjamin Franklin, which reached volume three of an intended seven before Lemay passed away in 2008.)
posted by Prospero at 4:21 PM on July 6, 2009

So wanted to buy that when I saw it in the store.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:45 PM on July 6, 2009

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