Lincoln
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Lincoln : The Biography of a Writer

3.86 (726 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In "Lincoln", acclaimed biographer Fred Kaplan explores the life of America's 16th president through his use of language as a vehicle both to express complex ideas and feelings and as an instrument of persuasion and empowerment. Like the other great canonical writers of American literature-a status he is gradually attaining-Lincoln had a literary career that is inseparable from his life story. In this book, the first to discuss the growth and development of Lincoln's career as a writer, Kaplan focuses on the elements that shaped Lincoln's mental and imaginative world; how his writings molded his identity, relationships, and career; and how they simultaneously generated both the distinctive political figure he became and the public discourse of the nation. This unique account of Lincoln's life and career will remind readers that the careful and honest use of words is a necessity for successful democracy.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 135 x 203 x 24mm | 318g
  • HarperPerennial
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0060773367
  • 9780060773366
  • 613,336

Back cover copy

For Abraham Lincoln, whether he was composing love letters, speeches, or legal arguments, words mattered. In Lincoln, acclaimed biographer Fred Kaplan explores the life of America's sixteenth president through his use of language both as a vehicle to express complex ideas and feelings and as an instrument of persuasion and empowerment. This unique account of Lincoln's life and career highlights the shortcomings of the modern presidency, reminding us, through Lincoln's legacy and appreciation for language, that the careful and honest use of words is a necessity for successful democracy.

Illuminating and engrossing, Lincoln brilliantly chronicles Abraham Lincoln's genius with language.
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Review quote

"Absorbing." -- Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic "Lively... Kaplan does a good job of tracing the young man's reading habits, identifying favorite books and noting their influence on the mature politician... Powerful and convincing... Kaplan is a biographer on a mission." -- The Los Angeles Times
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About Fred Kaplan

Fred Kaplan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer, which was named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times and Washington Post, among other publications. His biography of Thomas Carlyle was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Maine.
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Rating details

726 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 33% (241)
4 35% (251)
3 21% (155)
2 8% (56)
1 3% (23)
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