LINCOLN by Milton Meltzer


In His Own Words
edited by & illustrated by
Age Range: 12 & up
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Describing Lincoln as "one of the greatest masters of the English language," Meltzer lets him speak eloquently for himself, skillfully selecting passages from Lincoln's speeches, letters, and other writings to characterize the man, follow the development of his ideas, and exemplify his achievements. Roughly half the words here are Lincoln's, with Meltzer's commentary setting them in context with enough specific events, telling details, and lucid interpretation to make this a fine biography, as well as a compilation of beautifully balanced prose substantiating Meltzer's assessment of Lincoln as a "great mind and...noble spirit"--a political realist whose determination to save the Union was always informed by his compassion for the slaves. Included are 14 "Brief Profiles of Lincoln's Contemporaries," significant figures from Jefferson to Grant- -writers, abolitionists, politicians; their portraits are among the many striking full-page linocuts adorning this handsome volume. Alcorn's art is a mixed success: some of his fanciful depictions of the era are clumsy or obscure, but, overall, they're moving and sometimes decorative. His portraits, too, are not equally effective, but at their best they are powerful and telling. An excellent illustrator's note elucidates Alcorn's philosophy and aims; a lengthy chronology samples contemporaneous political and social history; there's also a fine note on sources; index. A splendid book, for every library. (Nonfiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-15-245437-3
Page count: 226pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1993


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