Lincoln, in His Own Words

Abraham Lincoln, Author, Milton Melzer, Editor, Milton Meltzer, Editor Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $22.95 (226p) ISBN 978-0-15-245437-1
In his more than 30 books, historian Meltzer has introduced young readers to subjects ranging from crime in America to potatoes. Here, he traces Lincoln's life and the development of his ideas through his speeches, letters and essays. The bulk of each chapter is made up of lengthy quotes, loosely framed by Meltzer's sketchy commentary, which attempts to provide a historical background to the material while allowing Lincoln's words to speak for themselves. Though this minimalist approach does allow the president's language to take center stage, it is also a drawback: the collection certainly contains some gems, but Lincoln's characteristically dense phrasing and frequent twists of logic are likely to leave many readers more exhausted than enlightened. Breaking up the text are forceful and brooding linocuts by Alcorn ( Rembrandt's Beret ) depicting Lincoln and his contemporaries; the artist's haunting visions of slavery are a highlight of the book. Brief profiles of the president's contemporaries, a chronology and a bibliography are provided at the end of the book. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1993
Release date: 10/01/1993
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