Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year

The electrifying story of Abraham Lincoln s rise to greatness during the most perilous year in our nation s historyAs 1862 dawned, the American republic was at death s door The federal government appeared overwhelmed, the U.S Treasury was broke, and the Union s top general was gravely ill The Confederacy with its booming economy, expert military leadership, and commandThe electrifying story of Abraham Lincoln s rise to greatness during the most perilous year in our nation s historyAs 1862 dawned, the American republic was at death s door The federal government appeared overwhelmed, the U.S Treasury was broke, and the Union s top general was gravely ill The Confederacy with its booming economy, expert military leadership, and commanding position on the battlefield had a clear view to victory To a remarkable extent, the survival of the country depended on the judgment, cunning, and resilience of the unschooled frontier lawyer who had recently been elected president.Twelve months later, the Civil War had become a cataclysm but the tide had turned The Union generals who would win the war had at last emerged, and the Confederate Army had suffered the key losses that would lead to its doom The blueprint of modern America an expanding colossus of industrial and financial might had been indelibly inked And the man who brought the nation through its darkest hour, Abraham Lincoln, had been forged into a singular leader.In Rise to Greatness, acclaimed author David Von Drehle has created both a deeply human portrait of America s greatest president and a rich, dramatic narrative about our most fateful year.
Rise to Greatness Abraham Lincoln and America s Most Perilous Year The electrifying story of Abraham Lincoln s rise to greatness during the most perilous year in our nation s historyAs dawned the American republic was at death s door The federal government appe

  • Title: Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year
  • Author: David von Drehle
  • ISBN: 9780805079708
  • Page: 276
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year”

    1. 1862 was certainly, as the title posits, the "most perilous year" in the Civil War. By concentrating on this year, the author draws attention to how the up and down fortunes of the Union could have resulted in the failure of ultimate Union victory. The author makes clear, in this highly readable book, that it was Lincoln's incredibly deft handling of massively complex issues that positioned the North to prevail, even though its success was 2 1/2 years away.The major lines in the story are the ev [...]

    2. I am a former Jesuit School History teacher, and have never encountered a more fascinating figure than Abraham Lincoln. The sheer complexity of the man--a tall, gangly, scrapping street fighter who won virtually every fight he participated in; a towering intellect developed through self study; a man of such enormous capacity for empathy that he felt he bore the suffering of the whole world on his narrow shoulders: I have the profoundest respect for people who can adequately treat this singular m [...]

    3. A well-written and lively portrait of Lincoln in 1862. If you’ve read up on this era you probably won’t find anything new here, nor may it be in-depth enough for some. However it is still a good general history of that pivotal year. We see the ill-prepared Lincoln mature as a president and commander-in-chief. Drehle does a great job explaining the rationale for all of lincoln’s decisions, probably not a hard task for the author since Lincoln was so gifted at expressing lofty ideas in pithy [...]

    4. Another in a current wave of Lincoln-centered narratives that seeks the essence of the successful Lincoln wartime administration. von Drehle looks at the year 1862 and presents his material in a neat, brisk chronological sequence. One can almost imagine turning pages of a newspaper as each day's news arrives. The author is unsurprisingly lavish with praise for the president, although he doesn't bury the bad decisions, particularly the amateurish management of the 2nd Manassas campaign. von Drehl [...]

    5. How could anybody possibly add anything new to the thousands of books on Lincoln. So when my book club came up with this, I gritted my teeth and plunged in.Von Drehle focuses on the year 1862, and the month by month account succeeds in putting a fresh presentation of the crucial issues faced during this critical period. It has a broad scope, and the military battles almost serve as a backdrop to Lincoln's handling of crushing challenges, including how (as if) to enact emancipation, with Roger Ta [...]

    6. I really enjoyed this book about Abe Lincoln and the military and political matters in 1862. The author breaks it down by month and I think that really helps illustrate the issues A.L. faced on an ongoing basis and the ones that occupied a short time. I haven't done much reading on the Civil War, so more well-read people may find this very repetitive, but for me was very interesting to learn of the adroit way A.L. had to handle a number of complicated issues, such as slavery, military, political [...]

    7. Von Drehle's theme for this book is one year can make or break a country. An amazing account of the political successes, battleground failures, and collage of personalities that walked across 1862's stage. Great distillation of Lincoln's personality, both the strengths and the weaknesses. Readers will come away with a firm belief in the notion that all things are connected. But I never did figure out why anyone could have thought McClellan was a great military leader, nor why his troops adored h [...]

    8. I am loving this book! I had originally thought oh man not ANOTHER book about Lincoln but decided to read a little while having a coffee at B&N. I was totally taken with it and bought it as an early Christmas present for myself. I love the focus on a year, pivotal as it was but the book really takes me back in time. I feel that I am there with all the sense of the nightmare of uncertainty that existed. Lincoln is just a great story. funny though no mention of vampires.

    9. Excellent research, writing, this book tells about 1862, a terrible year to read about but through letters,archives,writings of those who worked with Lincoln the book is full of details of conversations, personal dealings with people. Amazing to see not only how Lincoln changed but how the opinions of those around him changed and how precarious the situation was, that the Union held together in spite of serious oppositions everywhere.

    10. Fantastic Read!! I enjoyed the way the writer looked at one monumental year in the course of Lincoln's administration, in the course of American freedom, and in the evolution of the Union and the Executive branch. I recommend this book to anyone who loves history. I have a yearning to return to the Lincoln monument and look again on that tired face that saved America.

    11. David von Drehle proves again he's one of our finest writers of narrative history with this compelling portrait of Abraham Lincoln in the harrowing year of 1862. Anyone wanting to know more about the real man portrayed in Spielberg's new film should start with von Drehle's extraordinary book.

    12. This book is better than the star rating I gave it. It is so comprehensive about Lincoln and his direct interactions in 1862 that its frame is composed with many different through lines about issues, people, and events in American life surrounding the president. The lines and history are spectacularly well written and elaborate. It’s just that I wasn’t interested in all of them equally. It’s kind of the same way I feel about the broken up chapters of the Song of Fire and Ice books, which i [...]

    13. Von Drehle argues that 1862 was the most important year in the history of our nation, and he does so quite persuasively.Many of Lincoln’s tasks after the onset of the Civil War involved appeasement: he had to make sure the touchy border states remained in the Union [ergo he could not speak out too forcefully for emancipation]; he had to make sure Britain and France did not join the war on the side of the South [thus his capitulation on the so-called “Trent Affair”) and he had to ensure tha [...]

    14. This is an excellent and fascinating book on America's most perilous year, 1862. A confusing year in the Civil War, very well narrated by journalist Von Drehle - month by month - as if the reader walks along with the president at the White House and the commanders on the battlefield. Although the book does not provide new insights for Civil War addicts like myself, it gives a good impression of the political and personal struggles of the president. To name a few: the daily stream of job hunters, [...]

    15. Very good coverage of 1862, when the war was going badly for the North, and Lincoln was struggling in both his private and public lives. If you have not read many books about Lincoln, this is a good one to begin with.

    16. Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. -- Winston Church in a speech referring to the defeat of German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Corps by British Empire forces in 1942 at El-Alamein, Egypt, collected in the book "The End of the Beginning" (Cassell, 1943).Near the end of his outstandingly readable "Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year" David von Drehle quotes churchill to sum up the y [...]

    17. Admittedly, it took me over a year to get through this one. It was quite dense at points, and was a little hard to get as I was not yet familiar with the members of Lincoln's cabinet. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this book. It provided a really intimate portrait of an American who we're all told we should respect, but alas I personally had only surface level knowledge of. It's not surprising to me that among polls of historians Lincoln frequently comes rated as the best president America has h [...]

    18. This truly was one of the most informative and engaging books on the Civil War I've read. The author takes Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals" and uses it as his basis to fill in and around her story the thoughts and actions of Lincoln.1862 was a horrible year for the Union. Battle after battle against the south was lost while Lincoln could not gain control of his generals, his cabinet was at odds with each other and filled with conspiracy against each other, the nation was almost broke and [...]

    19. This is new twist to the Lincoln Historiography. Harold Holzer recently published a book "1863," where he discusses the trials and successes of Abraham Lincoln. I always wondered why he began in 1863. Well, the answer may lie in Drehle's masterful book. Drehle argues that 1862 was Lincoln's most difficult year in the Civil War. Indeed, his reason for writing the book came after reading David Donald's classic "Lincoln," where he asked "how did Lincoln survive this year?" The book's chapters are s [...]

    20. As our country struggles to define its future and conquer rising debt, we turn hopeful eyes to Abraham Lincoln. Against all odds, that formidable compromiser reunited his country and liberated a people. How did Lincoln do it?Rise to Greatness examines the pivotal year of 1862. Lincoln has yet to find a general who will fight, and victories against the Rebels are rare. The US Treasury is going into debt to finance an unpopular war. The border states are in turmoil, and if they join the rebellion, [...]

    21. Outstanding history of this pivotal year of the war, of Lincoln's presidency, and of this country's history. Although I'd previously read about most of the individual events in this book, this was the first time I saw them presented almost strictly from the viewpoint of Washington D.C. There are plenty of books where you can read the details of the various major campaigns and battles of that year, so this book doesn't spend any more time than necessary on them, but rather focuses on their effect [...]

    22. An engaging book about one of the most vulnerable years in the history of the United States. Von Drehle paints a detailed picture of Lincoln as a brilliant but burdened man placed in an incredibly challenging and complex political scenario. I was very intrigued by Von Drehle's insight into Lincoln's struggles with the immorality of slavery versus the preservation of a country whose economy had been in many ways fueled by this abhorrent institution. The permeation of slavery into every facet of t [...]

    23. Started last week, and I cannot put this book down. It is rather complex for me, but it is so rich in history. The description of Lincoln, his life as a young boy, his self-made in politics, his ethics, his humanity and his inner battle between doing the right thing and not altering the Constitution, just make you wish that politician of nowadays, would have this respect for their Country, themselves and others. Will tell you more when I'm finished.Finally finished this big book. It is so full o [...]

    24. Many authors write about a single year, arguing that the selected year was key to some national or world event. von Drehle argues that 1862 was the year in which Lincoln became the president we all revere and the year in which modern America was created. At the beginning of 1862, Lincoln seemed to be adrift and the Union war effort was faltering. By the end of 1862 Lincoln had outwitted most of his rivals, issued the Emancipation Proclamation and finally got the Union war effort moving the right [...]

    25. I'm not a historian, but I have done some reading on this era. This book covers the year of Lincoln's presidency (1862) prior to the Emancipation Proclamation. It communicated the fragility of our country at that time in a way I had not understood before. It explores Lincoln's character and sheds some light on this complex genius with an incredible sense of political timing. He was portrayed as a man driven by a desire to be remembered for doing something great, and believing that could only hap [...]

    26. Each year around American Independence Day I read an American history book. This was my selection this year. I've read many on Lincoln - a great man and a great subject for a book. von Drehle did a lot of research to be able to put together a book which shows how Lincolns thinking on issues worked and how his ideas changed in the course of 1862. Giving a monthly and at times daily account of his work through known documents, von Drehle offers a riveting story. The pressures on Lincoln were amazi [...]

    27. So I followed "Gone with the Wind," with this Lincoln biography. It really is a beautifully organized presentation of Lincoln in the year 1862. I starts with the custom of receiving guests at the White House on New Year's Day and goes month by month through the year. The book does a remarkable job at making you *feel* the stresses that pushed on Lincoln to change the war to preserve the Union to the war to emancipate the slaves. Great research on military leaders and battles. Good introduction t [...]

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