Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with Our Greatest President

Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with Our Greatest President

by Edward Steers Jr.
     
 

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The folklore surrounding history's towering figures often overshadows actual scholarship, both in terms of quantity and in terms of prevalence in the public consciousness. As one might expect with a revered national icon, nearly every facet of Abraham Lincoln's life has been subject to mythmaking as well as academic inquiry of widely varying quality and… See more details below

Overview

The folklore surrounding history's towering figures often overshadows actual scholarship, both in terms of quantity and in terms of prevalence in the public consciousness. As one might expect with a revered national icon, nearly every facet of Abraham Lincoln's life has been subject to mythmaking as well as academic inquiry of widely varying quality and accuracy.

In Lincoln Legends, noted historian and Lincoln expert Edward Steers Jr. carefully scrutinizes some of the most notorious tall tales and distorted ideas about America's 16th president. Did Abraham Lincoln write his greatest speech on the back of an envelope on the way to Gettysburg? Did he appear before a congressional committee to defend his wife against charges of treason? Was Lincoln an illegitimate child? Was he gay? Edward Steers weighs the evidence in these and other heated debates about the Great Emancipator. Steers's conclusions will satisfy some and disappoint others, and he just might settle some of these enduring questions once and for all.

About the Author
EDWARD STEERS JR. is the author of several books, including Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and The Trial: The Assassination of President Lincoln and the Trial of the Conspriators. He appears frequently as a Lincoln expert on C-Span and the History Channel.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Noted Lincoln scholar Steers (Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln) succinctly and eloquently debunks 14 popular myths about the Great Emancipator's life and death. Is the so-called "Birthplace Cabin" in Kentucky the real thing? Probably not, save for a few random boards that might linger from the original structure. Was Lincoln's father of record, Thomas Lincoln, actually his father, or was Lincoln the bastard son of Nancy Hanks and another man? According to Steers, Thomas Lincoln sowed the seed in his lawfully wedded wife. Did Lincoln and Ann Rutledge have a love affair? No, says Steers. He also takes on such questions as whether Mary Lincoln was a Confederate spy (nope), whether the famous "lost draft" of the Gettysburg Address is real or a forgery (forgery) and whether the infamous Dr. Samuel Mudd was guilty of duplicity in the Lincoln assassination (guilty as charged). Additionally, Steers dismembers the myth that Lincoln was gay. Throughout, the author backs up his pronouncements with solid documentation: the surest tool for clearing the smoke of fantastic folklore that envelops the 16th president. Photos. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

For those wanting answers about Lincoln, this is a fine volume. Leaving humor to the fun front cover, the contents are at once deferential to those seeking basic information and probing about deeper layers of the president's life. A solid offering displaying expert research; for public and undergraduate libraries.


—Margaret Heilbrun
From the Publisher
"Through meticulous research, Steers eventually uncovers a larger irony: Lincoln, whom he calls 'a passionate advocate for truth,' will forever be shrouded in legend." — New York Post

"Steers confronts the many distorted and fabricated stories about Abraham Lincoln... and deconstructs them with the exacting tenacity of a surgeon. The greatest favor a parent could do for a school-aged child with an interest in history is to buy a copy of this book and give it to their child's history or social studies teacher" — Blue & Gray Magazine

"Readers will be fascinated by the variety of tales told about Lincoln's life and death." — Indiana Magazine of Histroy

"Steers writes in an engaging style, and this book is highly recommended. It reminds readers that sensational headlines appear on the front page of newspapers while corrections and retractions are placed where few people will read them, allowing the erroneous report to become ingrained in the public mind." — The Historian

"Steers has written a book almost certain to appeal to that very wide audience uninterested in exploring the complexity of policymaking or studying Lincoln's role in momentous events." — H-Net Reviews

"A delightfully amusing, yet scholarly look at the many bogus tales about Lincoln's origins, life, loves, and death." — NYMAS Review

"In Lincoln Legends, Steers... gives us a delightfully amusing, yet scholarly look at the many bogus tales about Lincoln's origins, life, loves, and death, as well as some of the folks connected with these." — Strategypage.com

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813136974
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
10/12/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
1,223,585
File size:
4 MB

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