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The Lincolns: Portrait Of A Marriage (2008)

by Daniel Mark Epstein(Favorite Author)
3.92 of 5 Votes: 3
0345477995 (ISBN13: 9780345477996)
Ballantine Books
review 1: Word of advice. If you've ever read Team of Rivals, avoid this book like the plague. If you haven't I recommend Team of Rivals not this book. To start, the narrator (I listened to the audiobook) was incredibly boring. He seemed to lack the ability to lend the text proper inflection. The book itself reads like historical fiction. That is not a positive. The author also makes a mountain out of a molehill of evidence Asia necessary for someone wanting to write a narrative like this when the historical actors purposefully destroyed intimate evidence. Lastly, the final passage, the assassination scene, grated my nerves so much I almost didn't finish. The author depends heavily on present tense including frequent use of the present progressive. Not only does this not flow with t... morehe rest of the narrative but it's also a sign of lazy authorship. There are so many better books about Lincoln.
review 2: This was a moving, compassionate look at the complexity of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln and their rocky marriage. The book does not seem one sided in its examination of either and does not automatically label her as crazy as some books do. It does show the decline in her mental stability always accompanied by her intense love of Lincoln, even though he was gone for almost half of their married life. The book also reveals his distraction and solitariness (which must have been so frustrating to her) but also includes his deep regard and understanding of her illness as it progresses. The book deals, too, with Lincoln's own depression/melancholia that haunted him his entire life, the possibility that he contacted syphillis as a young man, and his own occasional temper outbursts. Both were very flawed people, and while the Presidency seemed to make the man, it certainly unmade the woman. Hindering the reading of the novel are its detail, detail, and more detail of events going on outside the marriage. On the other hand, those very details place the marriage in its context and explain the unbelievable pressure on both. less
Reviews (see all)
Fascinating book about the intricate and complicated relationship of Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln.
Just finished. A fascinating, informative read. The ending was powerful and emotional.
3.5 stars
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