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http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rise-to-greatness-david-von-drehle/1112040144?ean=9780805079708 David Von Drehle - Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year 96 kbps, Unabridged, Read by Robertson Dean Overview The electrifying story of Abraham Lincoln's rise to greatness during the most perilous year in our nationΓÇÖs history As 1862 dawned, the American republic was at death's door. The federal government appeared overwhelmed, the U.S. Treasury was broke, and the UnionΓÇÖs top general was gravely ill. The ConfederacyΓÇöwith its booming economy, expert military leadership, and commanding position on the battlefieldΓÇöhad 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 AmericaΓÇöan expanding colossus of industrial and financial mightΓÇöhad 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 AmericaΓÇÖs greatest president and a rich, dramatic narrative about our most fateful year. The Washington Post Von Drehle has done a masterful job of extracting riveting anecdotes from original sources and balancing them with recent contributions to the field. Blending good research with a gift for page-turning narrative, he adroitly weaves together the complex military, diplomatic, political, legal and moral saga of the 12 months of 1862. Though we know how the year will endΓÇªVon Drehle is talented enough to make the events unfold like a good thriller whose outcome hangs in the balance. Like Doris Kearns Goodwin (Tean of Rivals) and, more recently, Amanda Foreman (A World on Fire), he manages not only to describe but to reanimate these incidents and to make the reader feel not only a lucky observer of the inside story but a virtual participant in the dramaΓÇªfew authors have done a better job of juggling such a nourishing and delicious potpourri of Civil War historyΓÇökeeping all the balls floating in the air while paying meticulous attention to every key aspect of Lincoln's brutally taxing, and perhaps even most momentous, year. ΓÇöHarold Holzer Publishers Weekly On New YearΓÇÖs Day 1862, nine months after the firing on Fort Sumter, few thought President Lincoln had matters under control. Von Drehle (Triangle: The Fire That Changed America), a Time magazine editor-at-large, points out that the Confederate Army was camped near Washington, D.C. The growing Union Army, under charismatic but unwarlike General McClellan, was refusing to march. The future looked brighter in February when General Grant captured forts Henry and Donelson out west and in April when Union forces captured New Orleans. It looked even better when McClellan advanced near Yorktown, Va., but he dawdled and retreated in the face of energetic attacks. After Confederate forces moved north in September, McClellanΓÇÖs deliberation produced a draw at bloody Antietam. Fed up, Lincoln dismissed McClellan. His replacement, Ambrose Burnside, led the army to disaster at Fredericksburg, so 1862 ended badly, but Lincoln had learned painful lessons, and 1863 produced victories for the North. This is a conventional popular history with familiar figures, events, anecdotes, and no revisionist opinions, but Von Drehle has chosen a critical year (ΓÇ£the most eventful year in American historyΓÇ¥ and the year Lincoln ΓÇ£rose to greatnessΓÇ¥), done his homework, and written a spirited account.
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