Book Reviews of Lincoln

Author: Gore Vidal
ISBN-13: 9780345312211
ISBN-10: 034531221X
Publication Date: 5/12/1985
Pages: 657
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 36 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

13 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Lincoln on
ISBN 034531221x - This is NOT a biography, it is historical fiction - an important distinction if you're looking for facts but not so important if you just want to read a good book. A very well-written book, and far more readable than the size of it might make you think, I found one problem running throughout the book - the lack of dates. Although Vidal periodically mentions a specific date, the lack of them makes for a somewhat odd effect: the war, and Lincoln's political career, seem to last a very short time.

That aside, a wonderfully different look at a Presidency that changed the U.S. forever. Despite the fact that Lincoln never intended to free the slaves, and having done so, didn't want them living in the same country as the white population, his role as hero has always detracted from his human-ness. This book gives that back to him, and to the reader.

Mary's rather loose grip on sanity is almost played for laughs at times, which is a little sad. Other than that, it's hard to find one true bad guy in the book - a reflection of real life that was nice to find in a book that, in the end, is a work of fiction. Unless you're willing to do a great deal of research to verify everything in it, I wouldn't read this as anything OTHER than a historical fiction.

- AnnaLovesBooks
reviewed Lincoln on + 6062 more book reviews
Historically accurate (I spent some time checking), a sympathetic but not a not entirely flattering account of Lincoln.
reviewed Lincoln on + 80 more book reviews
When I first saw the length, I thought, I'll never read this book, but remembering how I was impressed by Burr, I picked it up just to see. Very well written, takes you from Lincoln's arrival at the White House in 1861 to his assassination in readable, fascinating fashion. Mr. Vidal even provides a note at the back on who is made up and who's not, and how he put it all together. If you love American history, put this on your bookshelf (and read it!).
reviewed Lincoln on + 6062 more book reviews
I've read it about 7 times in 20 years, it inspired me to read other Lincoln biographies. I would say it's closer to a biography than a novel, from what I could tell from historical accounts, he doesn't make up too much. It's a not altogether flattering portrait of Lincoln (but which of Vidal's books is?). If you like reading the foibles of the beautiful people of the time, which is what Vidal seemingly is obsessed with, you will like this one.
reviewed Lincoln on + 21 more book reviews
This is the best biography of Lincoln that I have read!
reviewed Lincoln on + 56 more book reviews
I loved this book. It told the story of Abe through the eyes of his male private secretary & friend. I'm not much for political books, but this book, although politics certainly had to be a part of it, was more about the man & the times. I really felt like I could finally conceive of Lincoln as a real person as the story shows us how he grieves over the loss of so many thousands of soldiers during the civil war, fights with generals, deals with a wife who is slowly going mad after the loss of a child & above all sticks to his guiding principle to try to do whatever is necessary to keep this country united.

I've read many of Vidal's historical novels. Some completely flopped, but several were just excellent historical fiction. Lincoln is his best IMHO. Vidal does a massive amount of research before writing HF & it really shows in Lincoln. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand Lincoln & the times he lived in better.
reviewed Lincoln on
This is the second of Vidal's "Chronicles" series, after the amazing "Burr". "Lincoln" is an absolute epic of historical fiction. Full of Vidal's biting wit, this book provides the most complete portrait of the 16th president I've seen in any book, fiction or non-fiction. Should be required reading in for all high schoolers. They'll never think history is boring again.
reviewed Lincoln on + 12 more book reviews
great read if you like historical fiction!
reviewed Lincoln on + 10 more book reviews
Excellent read. Great for those who like historical fact-based fiction.
reviewed Lincoln on + 715 more book reviews
Two boxed audio cassette tapes in cardboard box. Read by author, Gore Vidal.
reviewed Lincoln on + 292 more book reviews
a love story
reviewed Lincoln on + 279 more book reviews
Great book
reviewed Lincoln on + 98 more book reviews
I despise Gore Vidal's opinions and morals (political and sociological), but this is a great book.