On The 152nd Anniversary of His Death
Twice, I have read Carl Sandburg’s four volumes, 2400 pages, of “The War Years.” It is a biography of the greatest American in this nation's history. Abe Lincoln’s enemies were far too personal in light of the jealous cabinet members, the northern dove Democrats, his own mental depression and fellow Americans in armed rebellion. Even the great Boston abolitionists, Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner, Frederick Douglas and William Loyd Garrison, were at odds with his leadership until he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Thanks to the detail in Sandburg’s volumes, I have concluded the challenges of Lincoln’s presidency place him one pedestal higher than FDR and Washington.
Sandburg, in his lifetime, was acclaimed for his prose and poetry. His writing talents are uninhibited in his biography of Lincoln. He finished the four volumes seventy-four years after the death of Lincoln. Speaking for myself, historical objectivity seems enhanced if the writer is distant from the emotions and perspective of the period under review. In the case of the “War Years,” Sandburg had been criticized for factual errors and insufficient attribution. More important, If you read any portion of the four volumes, you will be consumed by the daily difficulties faced by the Sixteenth President. The detail provided by Sandburg may well be too much for the casual reader.
A one-volume abridged version is available if you cannot commit to the four or six-volume versions. The six-volume version includes Sandburg’s The Prairie Years and The War Years.
Posted below are some internet links critiquing Sandburg and The War Years. Reading them may actually encourage you to buy the volumes.
Sandburg's Lincoln within History
Carl Sandburg's Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years is, ... Yet from the beginning,critics have pointed out that if it is a biography at all, it is a ...
Carl Sandburg | Poetry Foundation
Sandburg, aware of the criticism, wrote in the preface to Complete Poems: "There is a ... Abraham Lincoln: The War Years alone exceeds in length the collected ...
Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years: Carl ...
Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years [Carl Sandburg, Arthur Morey] ... He later distilled this monumental work into one volume that critics and ...
Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years by Carl ...
Rating: 4.2 - 3,418 votes
Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years .... This is a biography of Lincoln by the esteemed poet Carl Sandburg. ... As a poet, Sandburg's version tends to be more epic and mythical--and lesscritical--in its examination of Lincoln.