Friday, January 6, 2012

Lincoln by Russell Freedman

iconiconI've been reading so much fiction lately.  A few years ago, my norm was about half fiction, half nonfiction — or perhaps it was about two-thirds fiction, and one-third nonfiction.  (This was a big change from my childhood, adolescence, and early twenties, when I read fiction almost exclusively, except for assigned reading in school and college.)  Although I do love fiction, occasionally I get a hankering for something a little more serious, so I was quite interested when I saw Russell Freedman's biography of Lincoln was one of the new additions to my library's ebook collection.

Although the subtitle calls it a "photobiography," in fact it is more than just pictures.  There are some great portraits of Lincoln throughout his life, as well as historical photos and engravings from newspapers and periodicals, but the book also provides a concise written biography of Lincoln.  The ebook is about 90 pages, but since the physical versions are often (but not always) about 20 percent longer than the ebooks, it's hard to judge length by the ebook.

In any case, it was a fairly quick read — I read it in about a day, despite the fact that nonfiction typically takes me longer than fiction.  The narrative style flows easily, and the photographs and illustrations are fascinating, though some of them were a bit small on my e-reader screen.

Interestingly, just a few days after I finished Lincoln, my husband and I watched The Conspirator, a movie about the woman who was hanged as a conspirator in Lincoln's assassination, primarily because they couldn't find her son (who really was the one involved — she just had the misfortune of keeping the boardinghouse where the men met).  In the beginning of the movie, when it showed Lincoln's assassination and the immediate fallout, I found it fascinating to see the things I'd read about in the biography brought to life.

In any case, the biography is interesting and highly entertaining — I would recommend it to anyone interested in Lincoln and/or that period in history!

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