Of the sixteen presidents whose biographies I’ve read so far, none have offered the variety of choices of Abraham Lincoln. Of the dozen Lincoln biographies I read, two were Pulitzer Prize winners, one is the second best-read presidential biography of all time, and six held the distinction of being the definitive Lincoln biography at one time or another.
No president before Lincoln required as much of my time, either – it took me over 3½ months to read all twelve biographies. Together, they contained nearly 9,500 pages – almost twice as many as the president with the second-tallest stack of biographies in my collection (Thomas Jefferson with about 5,000 pages).
Given this enormous time commitment, it’s fortunate Lincoln was both a fascinating individual and a masterful politician. His life story is as interesting as anyone’s (president or otherwise), and he proved far more impressive than most of the first fifteen presidents.
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