A readable and satisfying biography of the great President, with a respect for fact, and a broad historical canvas, which should make this an extremely valuable addition to both the biography and history shelf. The author has side- stepped legendary anecdotes, and the breathless wonder which accompanies so many of the Lincoln biographies, placing the emphasis on Lincoln's skill and intelligence as well as character. Although giving full treatment to the early years -- in which some ""dialect"" dialogue is used with considerable success -- careful attention has been given to the years between rail-splitting and the Presidency -- usually a blank to most young students. There is the story of the first venture into politics, stump speeches, debates, the Illinois Legislature, elections, and the why and how of the Presidential nomination. A controlled, reliable biography. Excellent sketches by Robert Frankenberg but the kodschromes of the Lincoln Diorames of the Chicago Historical Society are garish, muddy and unpleasant.