Abraham Lincoln

  • by John Drinkwater
  • Narrated by Ben Stevens, John Burlinson, Jennifer Fournier, Jeff Moon, Libby Stephenson, Ted Wenskus, Larry Wilson
  • 1 hrs and 54 mins
  • Performance

Publisher's Summary

Abraham Lincoln
A play by John Drinkwater
Presented by The Online Stage.
In survey after survey, Abraham Lincoln is universally ranked as the greatest of America's presidents, setting standards for honesty, courage, compassion and ethical responsibility. John Drinkwater's play was the British poet's first theatrical success, opening in England in 1918 to surprising acclaim and making its way to Broadway in 1919, to even stronger public enthusiasm. It was produced on radio by Orson Wells on August 15, 1938, on his program, The Mercury Theater on the Air. In 1924, a two-reel film version of the play was distributed nationwide, one of the very first sound films, and on May 26, 1952, the play was presented on television on the anthology series Studio One, with film icon James Dean in a very noticeable supporting role.
After a brief poetic prologue, the play depicts six scenes from Lincoln's life that illustrate key aspects of his remarkable character:


His acceptance of the Republican nomination for President
The outbreak of hostilities at Fort Sumter
Discussions with three very different individuals about the conduct of the war
The emancipation proclamation
The surrender at Appomattox
The assassination at Ford's Theater

Featuring Ben Stevens as Abraham Lincoln. Additional voices provided by Andrew Coleman, Linda Barrans, Larry Wilson, Ron Altman, Libby Stevenson, Jennifer Fournier, Peter Tucker, Andy Harrington, Joseph Tabler, Marty Kris, Jeff Moon, Russell Gold, Ted Wenskus,Richard Andrews, Nancy German, Lee Ann Howlett, and John Burlinson. Audio edited by John Burlinson.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Histrical Snapshot

The play is interesting but a little hard to follow since there's no description of what is happening. I did enjoy hearing about different parts of Lincoln's life from his perspective and that of those close to him.

It's strange but interesting to listen to an audio book with so many narrators, but it works well in the play format.

I received a free copy of this book from the author and/or narrator and/or publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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- Claire

A complex life distilled into six scenes

First released in 1918 this play distils Lincoln's life down to six scenes, focusing on his Presidency and the Civil War. Starting with his Republican nomination it moves through to his assassination.

As a dramatisation it is impossible to know exactly how close to the real Lincoln this is, and being so condensed it is hard to capture a whole lot of nuance. It does touch of some of his changing stances (such as moving from a position of not expanding slavery through to complete abolition) and some problems that caused around him, but otherwise it's a fairly simple, if impressive, image of who Lincoln was.

If you are looking for an in depth book to learn something new about Lincoln then this isn't that book. But if you want a simple primer and overview, then this is a good place to start. It tells you ho he is, what he was like and sees key moments in his life. There is only so much that can be fit into a 2 hour play, and this does well in putting it together.

Written originally as a stage play, it translates well to a radio play. with sound effects supporting the story it is easy to tell what is going on and where it is in the timeline. It may not always be clear who the individual people are, but I didn't feel that matters. I don't need to know that Person X is the head of his cabinet or whatever, as long as it is easy to follow the story and the ideas presented by the people in the play.

With individual actors for each part it is never confusing who is talking and what is going on. The production is good quality.

An enjoyable play, well put together and easy to listen to.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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- Kingsley

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-13-2017
  • Publisher: Spoken Realms