A. Lincoln (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
There have been an estimated sixteen thousand publications about the life and times of Abraham Lincoln, and a number of comprehensive biographies appeared during the Lincoln bicentennial birth year of 2009. Thus, while Ronald C. White, Jr., is among the most important of contemporary Lincoln scholars, it is reasonable to question whether A. Lincoln: A Biography stands out from the sizeable collection of analogous material. White provides a fresh approach by integrating Lincoln’s “log cabin” origins with his religious views to develop a more comprehensive account of the politician’s influences. He traces the effects of these influences both on his early political career and on his years in the White House.
Lincoln’s early years have long been a subject of his numerous biographies. He was born February 12, 1809the same day as Charles Darwin, the towering nineteenth century scientific figurein Kentucky, not Illinois, which is sometimes mistaken for Lincoln’s birthplace. His earliest recorded English ancestor, Samuel Lincoln, arrived in New England in 1637, one of thirteen thousand people who left Europe during that decade. Samuel Lincoln’s descendents traveled progressively farther south and west, moving through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and eventually Kentucky, where the future president’s grandfather and namesake, Abraham Lincoln, settled near what is now Louisville. Lincoln’s grandfather was killed during a Shawnee...
(The entire section is 1816 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
American History 44 no. 2 (June, 2009): 69.
Booklist 105 (January 1-15, 2009): 38.
Journal of American History 96, no. 2 (September, 2009): 549-550.
Kirkus Reviews 76, no. 22 (November 15, 2008): 1195.
Library Journal 133, no. 20 (December 1, 2008): 139.
The New York Review of Books 56, no. 14 (September 24, 2009): 58-60.
The Washington Post, February 8, 2009, p. BW03.
(The entire section is 37 words.)