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Lincoln: A Photobiography

A book by Russell Freedman

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It was clear to me why this book won a Newberry medal

  • Mar 15, 2010
In my opinion, no biography of Abraham Lincoln can be complete without including some pictures of him. He was a rawboned man of the frontier, which was clear in the earliest picture of him, taken in 1846 when he was thirty-seven. The most amazing aspect of the photo is the immense size of his hands and the relatively small size of his head. The length of his fingers on his right hand seems to be approximately the width of his head from ear-to-ear.
Other images in this book clearly show the strain the Civil War had on him, there is a two-page spread on pages 116 and 117 containing a series of photos for every year from 1861 through 1865. In the last one he looks so old that one wonders if he would have died of natural causes sometime in his second term.
While no book of approximately 130 pages could ever completely capture all of what Abraham Lincoln was, Freedman is very close to the best possible. Lincoln's use of humor to mask his frustrations and sorrow at what was happening to the country is made so clear. Also, Lincoln's goal of avoiding punishing the states of the Confederacy was such an admirable one, probably unachievable, but still a wonderful thought and one noted here. It is clear to me why this book won a Newberry medal.

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About the reviewer
Charles Ashbacher ()
Ranked #76
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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About this book


This work is perhaps the most complete and enjoyable children's book ever written about one of the nation's most fascinating and important figures, Abraham Lincoln. Russell Freedman covers Lincoln's life and career in a balanced treatment that is enhanced by period photographs and drawings. The book won theNewbery Medal, the Jefferson Cup Award and the Golden Kite Honor Book Award, and earned a citation asSchool Library JournalBest Book of the Year.--This text refers to thePaperbackedition.
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ISBN-10: 0899193803
ISBN-13: 978-0899193809
Author: Russell Freedman
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Publisher: Clarion Books
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