Monday, October 13, 2014

Abraham Lincoln and Joseph Smith - Ron L. Anderson

Summary:  What could Abraham Lincoln and controversial Mormon founder possibly have in common?  According to Lincoln Leadership president Ron Anderson, more than you would think.  Using historical records from Illinois, where Smith and Lincoln were living in the 1840s, this book shows you new sides to both men, including their surprisingly similar views on God and their involvement with each others' politics. Find out how two young 'backwoods boys' crossed paths and led parallel lives before each was martyred for his cause in this exhaustively researched dual biography.  Image from, summary from Amazon.  I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.)  

My Review:  Have you ever had a book hangover?  You've read a book so amazing and well-written and perfect that no other book in the same genre will be able to ever compare?  Even years later, sometimes this affliction can strike, and sadly, this was a casualty of my Team of Rivals hangover.  Sadly, it just can't compare.  Goodwin did such an amazing job that I'm STILL recommending it to anyone and everyone who may be interested!  

Please don't get me wrong, Anderson truly did a wonderful job with the writing.  He has an educated and approachable style which I did find enjoyable to read.  However, although there are surprising similarities between the two figures, they never met.  There is no concrete evidence anywhere that there was any interaction or even recognition between the two, and this left Anderson stretching coincidental research to cover the lost ground.  There was a lot of conjecture.  It was distracting.  It wasn't implausible conjecture, but conjecture nonetheless.  Unfortunately, between the Team of Rivals comparisons I couldn't shut off and the amount of conjecture, I just couldn't finish this.  Perhaps someday.  But the timing is just not yet right.  

I'd love to return to this book soon and eat my words.  And I guarantee you that when the time is right to revisit this book and finish it, I'll be updating my review!

My Rating:  For now, two stars. 

For the Sensitive Reader:  Squeaky clean. 

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