View more books by Gary Alan Dorris: Abraham Lincoln: An Uncommon, Common Man, Hey Brady, Meet Abe!: Getting to know Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln: An Uncommon, Common Man

$14.95 / Perfectbound

ISBN: 9781457528828
316 pages

$34.95 / Hardcover (DJ)

ISBN: 9781457525544
316 pages

Paperback (Abridged Version)
$13.95 / Paperback

ISBN: 9781457528460
196 pages

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Lincoln was a complicated man; unassuming but ambitious, honest but wily, humorous but occasionally despondent, spiritual but not religious, and he thought slavery was evil but condoned its legality until late in his life. The author, as narrator, tells of Lincoln's magnanimity in both victory and defeat, his continual quest for self-improvement, his personal tragedies, and his compassion in the midst of war. However, Lincoln was a pragmatic politician who pushed the Emancipation Proclamation although it did not free many slaves, used patronage to secure votes, and ordered the extraordinary use of Presidential War Powers. His life story is told in a generally chronological series of chapters focused on a time or specific event in Lincoln's life from his childhood to his time in New Salem on his own, his “adventure in the Law,” his close relationship with friends, his political career, his family, his unlikely rise to become President of the United States, and the monumental decisions he faced during the Civil War.


About Gary Alan Dorris

Gary Dorris grew up in the small coal mining town of Zeigler in Southern Illinois. The town and School libraries held numerous volumes favorable to Lincoln, but also had books critical of Lincoln's actions during the Civil War. Dorris studied both perspectives and developed a life-long admiration of Lincoln. Dorris graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1964 and was commissioned as an Air Force Officer.



This is a narrative of the life of Abraham Lincoln told from my perspective. I envisioned it as a story for which I would be the narrator and the reader would be the audience. I sincerely hope that my presentation of his life story fairly represents the man, his personal philosophy, his path to leadership, and his reactions to the events that influenced him.

I have been an admirer of Lincoln since I was first introduced to his legacy as a third grader in Zeigler, a small coal mining town in Southern Illinois. For the next seven years I enjoyed reading from the modest collection of Lincoln books in our town’s library. Fortunately, the six volume set of Carl Sandburg’s “Prairie Years” and “War Years” written from 1926 to 1939 was available, and I read those over a two year span in the eighth and ninth grades. Southern Illinois, unlike the area around Springfield 150 miles north, was heavily Democratic and, during the Civil War, a majority of the population did not support Lincoln’s policies. As a result, the town’s library contained a few articles and books critical of Lincoln, the reconstruction period, and Federal treatment of Southern states in general.


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