Take a look at my Goodreads review of Jon Meacham's new and amazing book And Then There was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle
Jon Meacham is a jewel in our American fabric and I have read many of his amazing historical accounts but not all of them. I still have many more to read. This book is particularly important in my mind since in revealing Abraham Lincoln's struggle to free the enslaved and to save the Union, he is reminding some and introducing others to how our democracy is complicated and, at least to this day, still is the better alternative to autocracy. The other aspect of his approach is the emphasis he places on spirituality that is tied to religious beliefs. Lincoln is highly influenced by religious leaders and is guided by his familiarity with the Bible although not exclusively. He likes Shakespeare as well and can recite many passages from memory. In addition, Mr. Meacham also shows both sides of the argument based on diaries and printed news accounts that make the reader understand better the Confederate point of view and even the variations of those in the North. As a read, the book is tedious. I found myself rereading paragraphs to get the gist of one of the many players who were a part of the drama. Finally, one of the first biographies I ever read was about Mary Todd Lincoln when I was in fifth grade. Mr. Meacham describes her vividly and brings her even more to life. I am bowled over by the ability of Mr. Meacham to show all sides to the issue in such a human manner. It reinforces my belief that democracy is a process that evolves and that ultimately keeps us getting better.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/37431334-mimi-pockross">View all my reviews</a>