Did Lincoln Own Slaves?
- And Other Frequently Asked Questions about Abraham Lincoln
- Narrated by: Norman Dietz
- Length: 10 hrs and 38 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 01-23-08
- Language: English
- Publisher: Tantor Audio
Regular price: $24.49
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Michael Carrato on 04-04-11
Well written and well read.
I've always been an admirer of Lincoln but this is my first book about the man. It was a perfect book for a Lincoln neophyte like me, presenting questions in FAQ form and then answering them thoughtfully. I found it enlightening and entertaining.
The author obviously is a great admirer of Lincoln, but he honestly answers the "hard" questions, such as whether Lincoln owned slaves or was a "racist", without sugar coating. Lincoln was neither the saintly emancipator of his admirers nor the racist political opportunist of his detractors; rather, he was just an intelligent, thoughtful, driven man who somehow managed to strike the ideal balance between ideology and pragmatism, saving a great nation in the process.
Particularly compelling are the dissections of Lincoln's speeches on race, how he walked a political tightrope in order to stay true to his convictions while appealing to racist white voters. Unfortunately, some modern historians take these quotes out of time and context, and miss the point completely: Lincoln knew that he needed to get *elected* to make things right, so he conceded the larger question of full civil rights in order that he might be elected to a position where he could address the greater evil of slavery. Prokopowicz does a fantastic job of analyzing the full context of his speeches to make this point.
We are left wanting to read more in some cases, but that's the entire point of this book, which is intended as a sort of beginner intro to Lincoln history. Indeed, near the end, the author recommends several Lincoln bios for further reading.
Highly recommended as an intro text for anyone with an interest in Lincoln.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful