My dad is a history teacher. Like all history teachers, he has his one era of history that is his specialty. For him it was the Civil War. Growing up, there were a lot of books on the Civil War, movies, shows, you name it. It’s no surprise then that my dad has always named Abraham Lincoln as one of his favorite presidents.
Moving to the “Land of Lincoln” my dad couldn’t resist giving me a book on Lincoln. So out of filial duty, I read it as one of my books to close out Cannonball Read 7. It wasn’t a tough read, it just didn’t catch my interest. Until it got to the part about the Civil War years. Hearing the political machinations and the behind the scenes of the war did interest me and I found myself reading with increase vigor.
The piece that seemed forced was that the author was trying to highlight Lincoln’s faith and show how this faith influenced his decisions. I think understanding a figure’s faith can shed light on how this figure is. But as an author and historian, I think it’s a careful line to reveal the figure’s faith and avoid pushing the idea that this faith influenced historical events. Sometimes it feels legitimate, other times its like throwing water on the horse and saying the horse drank the water.
The one piece I did like was showing how Lincoln himself revealed how the death’s of his sons and the dreams he had of his assassination lead him to consider God. Sometimes its the tragedies that cause us to seek out solace. If you’d like to see a more personal side to a figure that is much written about, then I’d recommend this tome to scratch that itch.