What's the best Lincoln biography?

There’s a TON of Lincoln biographies. Just in this library I see 131 books with the subject heading “Lincoln, Abraham, 1809 - 1865”, and that doesn’t count juvenile biographies or anything more specific, like “Lincoln, Abraham, 1809 - 1865 – Correspondance” or “Lincoln, Abraham, 1809 - 1865 – Public Opinion” or “Lincoln, Abraham, 1809 - 1865 – Childhood and youth” or “Lincoln, Abraham, 1809 - 1865 – Views on slavery” or what have you. Sheesh, what’s a girl to do?

I’d like to read one Lincoln biography. I want it to be really well written and hold my interest. (I read a decent amount of history but don’t often read biographies. I don’t often find them very interesting.) I’d rather have it be about the man himself rather than, say, his government or executive orders or what have you. Objectivity is, of course, a plus.

So, if I only read one, what should it be? What’s the best researched and best written volume?

Lincoln, by David Herbert Donald. Fantastic book, and I can’t recommend it enough!

Earlier thread about Lincoln biographies, with a good consensus on a few titles.

The Savage Curtain

I’m halfway through Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln on the recommendation of my dad, a big Civil War buff. It focuses not so much on the life of Lincoln himself but on his political dealings during his presidency, but it’s quite excellent so far.

ETA: I somehow blanked on the sentence where you said that you were looking for one on the man himself, but I’d be happy to look through the communal bookshelf and get back to you on that. :smack:

Anybody know if the Team of Rivals audiobook is any good? My boyfriend has, coincidentally, been reading a bit about Lincoln’s cabinet and I thought he might like it, but he really enjoys audiobooks.

I highly recommend What Lincoln Believed: The Values and Convictions of America’s Greatest President, by Michael Lind. Not a straight bio – ignores details like the names and dates of his children; focuses on his political and social views and actions in the context of his time, which, let’s face it, are the most important things about him to know.