Friday, December 07, 2007

Book Review: The Age of Lincoln

Sometimes well written history is more dramatic and impressing than well written fiction. The Age of Lincoln is a great examlpe of this. The book reads like a historical dramatization at times as Burton weaves personal accounts, letters and other documents from the main actors in the drama and other sources into the narrative of the antebellum, Civil War and postbellum events. It is a sobering account of the reality of war, which was romanticized by the opposing sides as they preapred for the inevitable struggle that would follow secession. Burton also brings to life the deep passions that possesed both sides, including the sincere belief that their side was favored by God. You are left with an understanding of how these 40 to 50 years in American history profundly affected multiple aspects of America's future, some issues which remain unresolved to this day. It's a must read if you want a deeper understading of Lincoln, southern and northern mindsets, the role of African Americans, states rights, immigration, southern and northern economies and the many other components that made up the complex historical landscape of this period of our nation's history.

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