Lincoln’s Greatest Journey – Sixteen Days that Changed a Presidency, March 24-April 8, 1865 by Noah Andre Trudeau
Review by Ricardo Jaramillo, Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table
This is a must-read book and a plus for a devout Lincoln follower’s library.
The author states that new learnings will arise by the reader. New in the sense that of the 16,000 volumes of Lincoln writings have not yet been presented. While this reviewer has not read all these volumes, it is apparent that the author succeeded in providing something new for this reviewer. He did so in a manner befitting great philosophers and the best of authors. He weaved a story told before with interjections of numerous small, yet significant, details not previously published. These small details evolved into a greater story that leads this reviewer to not be able to stop reading. Trudeau’s title, Lincoln’s Greatest Journey, is reminiscent of how he planned to autonomously tell this great story like never previously told.
Writings by other authors tell of Lincoln’s mental political prowess and even detailing many mundane facts in a chronological order. Detailing numerous facts in this manner leads to the reader skipping through much of previously written books and arriving at no new conclusions. Trudeau, on the other hand, interlaces personal character details and additions of period-related elements, that as chronological writing, the reader is enticed to continue reading in earnest interest. This is what this reviewer attest to: If you skip pages in this book, you might just have missed a great part of this story.
Trudeau laments on how Lincoln’s state of mind was not at its peak prior to March 24, 1865. He builds his case that Lincoln was a greater American leader because of this 16-day journey. Trudeau also draws a picture of Lincoln’s personal growth unlike any other author has done so before this writing. Trudeau accomplished this through his thorough research and event discounting old documents and previous writings.