Almost every fragment begins with a problem Lincoln was facing, and it’s fascinating to see how he grappled with each one ... These glimpses of Lincoln’s thinking offer us a fresh way to view him. White’s commentary is excellent, and anyone interested in Lincoln will want to read this book.
... they do add a unique perspective on the evolution of thought in America’s greatest President, revealing seeds that later blossomed into his personal and political inspiration ... Students of Lincoln will find a deep background disclosing the personal thoughts that generated great national actions.
White shows there still is space on crowded Lincoln bookshelves for a unique work ... Not for a general audience, but this book will delight devoted readers who are searching for ways to more deeply understand the mind and heart of one of the greatest presidents.
... an intimate character portrait and fascinating inquiry into the basis of Lincoln’s energetic, curious mind ... As Mr. White shows so persuasively, Lincoln’s quiet, personal moments laid the foundation for his enduring public legacy.
Occasionally, readers will encounter writing of genuine historical value, such as a public statement Lincoln proposed to release if defeated in the 1864 election or arguments pointing out the irrationality of slavery. These fragments appear in the appendix, and readers who turn to them first will realize that, while Lincoln may be immortal, most of what he put on paper is not. Many will feel grateful to biographers, who read everything that great men and women wrote so that we don’t have to. Fortunately, White is a formidable scholar, one of the leading authorities on Lincoln and his milieu. He devotes most of the text to summarizing the work and explaining what Lincoln was thinking and doing at the time ... A fine interpretation of Lincoln ephemera.
... probing ... White frames the writings with insightful analysis of Lincoln’s maturing politics and rhetorical style, with its homespun metaphor, steel-trap logic, rhapsodies to liberty, curiosity about cause-and-effect mechanics, and brooding faith in the mysterious workings of Providence. Lincoln fans will love these novel glimpses into his powerful mind.