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 Posted: Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 02:39 pm
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ole
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Recently bought a short stack of really cheap "on sale" books. This is one of them. By Geoffrey Perrett, it concentrates on Lincoln and his boo-boos and brilliance as the war developed and ground on. For that coverage, and that alone, this book doesn't hit the garage sale or the AmVets box.

Perrett has an annoying habit of using highly descriptive but obscure adjectives requiring a dictionary close by. For example, try "syncretic." True, one can ignore the word without losing the meaning, but the flaunting of vocabulary is distracting,  annoying and, if you habitually look up new words, removing the book from the easy-read category.

When Perrett tells of what is going on in the field (background for Lincoln's recorded thoughts and actions), he is generally, factually unreliable. He has the secesh siezing the federal arsenal in St. Louis, Buford armed with Sharps carbines, Sherman facing Hood at Kennesaw Mountain,  Grant siezing Chattanooga from Bragg. Again, this is back history and doesn't substantively detract from his study of Lincoln, his war presidency, adapatation of thought, back room struggles, and such -- which quite often provided insight and situations of which I was previously unaware. So there was for me some value in the book.

There are quite likely better single-source studies of Lincoln as commander-in-chief, but this one does provide an interesting look at the man.

Ole

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