Books: Tragic Life

THE HIDDEN LINCOLN—Edited by Emanuel Hertz—Viking ($5).

William Herndon's life of Lincoln is one of the great neglected books of U. S. literature. It belongs with the best biographies by virtue of its accuracy, its almost unique tone that manages to combine veneration for a great man with shrewd understanding of a human being. But in addition to these qualities, Herndon's Lincoln is a document as essentially American as Whitman's poems, not only in its grasp of the tough frontier world in which Lincoln grew, but in its belief in U. S. democracy, its...

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