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A long, long time ago, when I was in school, we had two days off in February for Lincoln's Birthday on the 12th and Washington's Birthday on the 22nd. Lincoln's Birthday, however, was a State Holiday and Washington's Birthday was a Federal Holiday.

In 1968, a draft of the Uniform Holidays Bill proposed to rename Washington's Birthday to Presidents' Day, in honor of both Washington and Lincoln. The proposal failed in committee and the bill was signed into law on June 28, 1968 officially keeping the name Washington's Birthday. Unofficially however, we have come to know of it as Presidents' Day and the holiday is set for Monday, February 16th in 2009 which is the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth.

I thought it might be fun to list interesting books about two of our most important Presidents this month.


A warm, moving portrait of Abraham Lincoln told through the eyes of his children and captured in exquisite full-color illustrations.

Historians claim him as one of America's most revered presidents. But to his rambunctious sons, Abraham Lincoln was above all a playful and loving father. Here is Lincoln as seen by two of his boys: Willie, thrilled to be on his first train trip when Lincoln was deciding to run for president; Willie and Tad barging into Cabinet meetings to lift Lincoln's spirits in the early days of the Civil War, Tad accompanying him to Richmond just after the South's defeat. With the war raging and the Union under siege, we see history unfolding through Willie's eyes and then through Tad's -- and we see Lincoln rising above his own inborn sadness and personal tragedy through his devotion to his sons. With evocative and engaging illustrations by P.J. Lynch, Rosemary Wells offers a carefully researched biography that gives us a Lincoln not frozen in time but accessible and utterly real.

Celebrate the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, February 2009​
 

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Great idea for a thread, Jeff! I was also fascinated by Abraham Lincoln when I was little. I read a bunch of junior biographies about him.

I haven't read this book yet, but it certainly gets rave reviews.



L
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have to include one of my all-time favorites even though I've mentioned it before. Sadly, it isn't available in Kindle format either.


From Publishers Weekly
Do national security concerns supersede guarantees of individual liberty? Does strict adherence to the principles of freedom prevent a free government from defending itself effectively? Does the minority have the right to dissolve a democracy? Was the Civil War inevitable, given the fundamental split over slavery, or was it brought on by a combination of well-meaning and greedy Northerners who wanted to dominate the South? Can a majority rule over a subjugated minority and remain a democracy? These are among the vital, timeless issues that Safire deftly grapples with in a prodigious, 1152-page work that is more history than fiction. That he succeeds in relaying the confusion, anguish and excitement of this critical period in American historythe 20 months from Lincoln's assumption of the presidency to the signing of his Emancipation Proclamationis a measure of his supple writing style and dedication to veracity. With its analysis of intricate legal, political and military issues, this is demanding fiction, but so assiduously documented that it will interest Civil War tyros and scholars as well as buffs. Safire censures Lincoln as a leader who "as the war went on . . . grew more easy with the use of dictatorial power." He also emerges here as shrewd, manipulative, depressed, stubborn, determined to preserve the Union and majority rule at all costs, a ruthless president who conducted a purposely bloody war. His gradual turnabout from a policy of tolerating slavery where it existed to the bold emancipation of slaves in rebel states, as a strategy to sustain the fighting spirit of the North, is carefully chronicled. In a 130-page "underbook," Safire separates fact from fiction and keenly judges various historical controversies: Was McClellan an overly cautious general, or was he acting according to his dovish Democratic political conscience? Safire vivifies the complexities and paradoxes of the era through such real-life characters as border-staters Anna Ella Carroll of Maryland, a well-connected pamphleteer, and John Breckinridge, a former vice-president and Kentucky senator turned Confederate general, whose family epitomized the fratricidal war. The Pulitzer Prizewinning New York Times columnist is also adept at depicting gripping battle scenes, the vicissitudes of politics and the fierce jockeying for supremacy among Lincoln's cabinet members, between the president and the military, the different branches of government and factions of the Republican party. The intimacies here are basically political; Safire contrives a few fictional romances, but they are sops to the genre, providing a prism through which to examine the characters or "hatracks" on which to hang information. Photos not seen by PW. Major ad/promo; BOMC main selection.

Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
 

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Thank you, Jeff.  Great idea. 
When I was younger my grandparents took me on vacation.  One of the places we stopped at was, I believe, Lincoln's home in the midwest.  Of all of the places they took me, I remember that house. 
 

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Sharyn posted this one in the Free Books thread. I tried to make a link from Amazon, but couldn't do it.

A Man for the Ages, by Irving Bacheller,
1859-1950. HISTORICAL FICTION. Download site: MobileRead. Format: Mobipocket. Price: Free. Also available in the Amazon Kindle Book Store.
A fictional account of the life of Abraham Lincoln. Bacheller, who considered Abraham Lincoln to be the greatest man America had produced, wrote a trilogy based on his life: A Man for the Ages (1919), which took Lincoln up to his election to Congress; Father Abraham (1925), about Lincoln's last years; and A Boy for the Ages (1937), about Lincoln's boyhood. Born in Pierrepont, New York, Irving Bacheller graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1882 after which he accepted a job with a New York City newspaper. Two years later, he established a business to provide specialized articles to the major Sunday newspapers. It was through the Bacheller Syndicate that he brought to American readers the writings of British authors such as Joseph Conrad, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Rudyard Kipling. And, to the reading public he introduced New Jersey author Stephen Crane through arranging the serialization of his story, The Red Badge of Courage.

N :)
 

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My brother is reading Team of Rivals on his Kindle and enjoying it greatly.

Washington was a great writer--are there any collections of his writings available for Kindle?

We're fortunate to live (except right now) in Washington country, about two miles from Mt. Vernon and even closer to Woodlawn Plantation, his stepdaughter's home. The road runs directly from Woodlawn to Mt Vernon. The subdivision we live in was originally one of Washington's farms--Muddy Farm (it is). They also just finished recreating Washington's Distillery on the grounds of his grist mill, which lies between Woodlawn and Mt Vernon. (Interesting since I am reading Whiskey Rebels right now.) http://www.mountvernon.org/visit/plan/index.cfm/pid/807/

An interesting link between Washington and Lincoln, other than being Presidents, is that Washington was a hero to the Confederacy; they very much thought they were following in Washington's tradition in fighting for state's rights against Lincoln and the federal government. There's a statue of Washington in the rotunda of VA's state capitol, and no tour goes on without a discussion of Washington and what he meant to the Confederacy.

Betsy
 

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Washington was actually born on February 11, 1732 according to the calendar then in use.  Twenty years later, England and its colonies switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar and skipped over 11 days.  According to the new calendar, Washington's birthday became February 22. 
 

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When I was younger my grandparents took me on vacation. One of the places we stopped at was, I believe, Lincoln's home in the midwest. Of all of the places they took me, I remember that house.
drenee,

Lincoln's House is still there, in Springfield, IL and can be visited along with his tomb and a fabulous new museum dedicated to him. It is worth another visit.

Bluebell.
 

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I just purchase James McPherson's Trial By War which chronacles Lincolns experience as the most hands on Commander In Chief in our nations history. A fascinating read and highly recommended. For some reason I could not find a kindle link nor could I create one. I'm not sure if its because I'm using windows Vista or not. Here is a link to the book copy which is also available as a Kindle download.

--added link to Kindle version usling linkmaker 1.0; sometimes the LM 2.0 doesn't find the Kindle version. Betsy
 
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