Thu. Jan 23rd, 2020

Read 4 Fun

Read the short reviews, read the book, comment

Best History in Its Genre

4 min read

Many readers probably pass up a read such as Abraham Lincoln A Life From Beginning to End by the group Hourly History. Everyone knows the story of Abraham Lincoln, right? So why read more? I identified two reasons for me to read this work. First, there is always the possibility that I do not possess perfect memory and even worse, I may not have gotten it right in the first place. Second, Abraham Lincoln is only one in a huge collection that is known as Hourly History. I have read several of them and they vary in quality as is invariable with books written by groups or committees. Some are so good that I tried to find the author’s name so I could read more by the same author. I have been unsuccessful. I don’t know whether this is a policy of the group or not, so I won’t reveal the name on the email requesting a review of this work.

There are two parts to this review. One part is about Honest Abe. The other is my thoughts on Hourly History.

Abraham Lincoln: A Life From Beginning to End

The title above is from the title page of the Kindle edition. If you look up the title on Amazon, it will appear like this: Abraham Lincoln: A Concise History of the Man Who Transformed the World. It is part of a series known as {One Hour History US Presidents Book 1}. As I read through this work, the following are items I found that were not taught in the politically correct environment of my schools prior to university. Inaccuracies are present at universities as well but at least students are (or should be) taught to question as they seek further information.

The forgiving Lincoln many of us are familiar with was not so forgiving to his father. Lincoln neither visited his father when he was sick not attended the funeral. And he never talked about his father while President. Perhaps in reaction, he was a completely permissive father, allowing his children, literally, the run of the house.

Lincoln had a tempestuous relationship with Mary Todd Lincoln. She, from a rich family, who didn’t approve of their relationship, had a specific goal. She wanted to be married to a President of the US. They would have a stormy relationship before finally marrying.

When Lincoln ran for president prior to the Civil War, there were four candidates for President. Lincoln’s name was not on the ballot in the Southern States. I did not know that Lincoln faced such electoral disadvantages.

By the time of Lincoln’s inauguration in 1861, there was already the Confederate States of America. Seven states did not wait until after he was President before secession.

Britain and France leaned toward supporting the Confederacy. It was Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that led the two nations to at least not support the Confederacy.

Mary Todd Lincoln’s spending on clothes and decorations for the white house became a campaign issue threatening Lincoln’s re-election. Sherman’s victory in Atlanta was able to bury the spending issue.

In my usual reviews, I cite page numbers or Kindle locations of where I found the information. I did not do so with this review because I want to encourage people to read the Hourly History work. It doesn’t take that long.

Hourly History

Publications by Hourly History have several positives. The first is the price. Searching on Amazon, I feel the price of USD 2.99 is fair because of the high quality of the books. I don’t pay this because I take advantage of the free read through my Kindle Unlimited subscription. I can also read for free if I download the books from the Hourly History newsletter, no KU subscription needed. How much better can a price get?

A second positive comes from the name of the publishing group. Hourly History. Busy people either don’t have much time to read or they have many excuses for not doing so. These publications should take about one hour to read. Their organization, either chronologically or thematically, allows a reader like myself to scan for unfamiliar or new information. I typically spend thirty minutes per publication.

There is a third social positive. A reader can in a more knowledgeable way back up their claims made during “friendly” exchanges at parties. A quick look at the mobile device can even bring up the Hourly History referenced work, a lot easier than finding several sources of scattered facts.

I find the entire Hourly History project does exactly what it purports to do. Critics might say there is no depth or that there are counter-arguments to some of the facts presented. Those arguments will always be true as the study of history is dynamic with new discoveries (depth) and history is written by authors and actors with different agenda (counter-arguments). I find these criticisms noise, a waste of time, and worthy of an indictment of “inattention paid to the purpose of the project” against those making such arguments.

Another time wasting criticism is the lack of references for facts presented. It is very easy to check the assertions presented. If provisions of the Homestead Act of 1862 are presented and the reader disagrees, do further research. This project is an overview; its publications should encourage further reading.




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