Abraham Lincoln: A Biography by Lord Charnwood

By Lord Charnwood

No different narrative account of Abraham Lincoln's existence has encouraged such frequent and lasting acclaim as Charnwood's Abraham Lincoln: A Biography. Written via a local of britain and initially released in 1916, the biography is an extraordinary mixture of lovely prose and profound ancient perception. Charnwood's learn of Lincoln's statesmanship brought generations of american citizens to the lifestyles and politics of Lincoln and the author's observations are so entire and well-supported that any severe learn of Lincoln needs to reply to his conclusions.

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But though it is true that all those books must go somewhere, I suggest that their- public is not a serious one, that it is simply pursuing secret vices from one bright cover picture to another-consuming, not reading. Yet all in all, this state of affairs, though disheartening, is by no means tragic. For one thing, those novelists whose interests are in polemic or mere narrative will doubtless join the new Establishment and write plays. Adventure stories, exotic voyages, superficial histories, all the familiar accouterments of the popular novel are now the scenarists' by right of conquest.

Nor can one argue that, fierce palace politics aside, the Roman imperium ever rested on certain common assumptions confidently held. Beyond a glum acceptance of law as necessary to commercial endeavor and the accidental discovery that government is largely a matter offiling and cross-indexing, the Roman state from Sulla to Constantine was gloriously confused in its morality, politics and religion. Confronted by so many rich absurdities and contradictions, satire became a high and useful art in the hands of such various men as Persius, Juvenal, Martial, even St.

A master of publicity, he realized the value of having well-known people support him. If James Baldwin was an effective and admired television performer, then it was only common sense to try to win his support. In 1960 politics and literature officially joined forces. The politician had literary longings; the writer saw himself as president, leading the polity to the good life by means of lysergic acid or the more copious orgasm or whatever bee buzzed loudest in his bonnet. More to the point, through television, the talking writer was able to command an audience in a way few politicians can.

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