The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln

The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln

by C.A. Tripp, Jean Baker
4.1 7

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The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln by C.A. Tripp

The late C. A. Tripp, a highly regarded sex researcher and colleague of Alfred Kinsey, and author of the runaway bestseller The Homosexual Matrix, devoted the last ten years of his life to an exhaustive study of Abraham Lincoln's writings and of scholarship about Lincoln, in search of hidden keys to his character. In The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln, completed just weeks before he died, Tripp offers a full examination of Lincoln's inner life and relationships that, as Dr. Jean Baker argues in the Introduction, "will define the issue for years to come." Throughout this riveting work, new details are revealed about Lincoln's relations with a number of men. Long-standing myths are debunked convincingly -- in particular, the myth that Lincoln's one true love was Ann Rutledge, who died tragically young. Ultimately, Tripp argues that Lincoln's unorthodox loves and friendships were tied to his maverick beliefs about religion, slavery, and even ethics and morals. As Tripp argues, Lincoln was an "invert": a man who consistently turned convention on its head, who drew his values not from the dominant conventions of society, but from within.

For years, a whisper campaign has mounted about Abraham Lincoln, focusing on his intimate relationships. He was famously awkward around single women. He was engaged once before Mary Todd, but his fiancée called off the marriage on the grounds that he was "lacking in smaller attentions." His marriage to Mary was troubled. Meanwhile, throughout his adult life, he enjoyed close relationships with a number of men. He shared a bed with oshua Speed for four years as a young man, and -- as Tripp details here -- he shared a bed with an army captain while serving in the White House, when Mrs. Lincoln was away. As one Washington socialite commented in her diary, "What stuff!"

This study reaches far beyond a brief about Lincoln's sexuality: it is an attempt to make sense of the whole man, as never before. It includes an Introduction by Jean Baker, biographer of Mary Todd Lincoln, and an Afterword containing reactions by two Lincoln scholars and one clinical psychologist and longtime acquaintance of C.A. Tripp. As Michael Chesson explains in one of the Afterword essays, "Lincoln was different from other men, and he knew it. More telling, virtually every man who knew him at all well, long before he rose to prominence, recognized it. In fact, the men who claimed to know him best, if honest, usually admitted that they did not understand him." Perhaps only now, when conventions of intimacy are so different, so open, and so much less rigid than in Lincoln's day, can Lincoln be fully understood.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439104040
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 01/11/2005
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

C.A. Tripp passed away in May 2003, just two weeks after completing the manuscript of The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln. A psychologist, therapist, and sex researcher, he worked with Alfred Kinsey in the late 1940s and 1950s before obtaining a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from New York University. He maintained a private practice of psychology for years and taught at the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, from 1955 to 1964.

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Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Do yourself a favor and sit down at a bookstore with a good coffee shop and read just the first two chapters and you will have captured the jest of the book. Interesting read but too repetitive with information.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of my first reactions to the book was 'so what' if Abraham Lincoln had homosexual experiences during his lifetime. But then I realized that Tripp's book has benefits beyond telling us that honest Abe was a bisexual. And it goes beyond being a 'feel good' book for homosexuals, as some have suggested. The book has flaws as some chapters, i.e. Mary Lincoln, could have been eliminated by adding the information in another chapter. It is a good book and worth reading for anyone interested in Abraham Lincoln. If Tripp is correct about Abe's sexuality, and I think he is, then Tripp has provided a book that will be useful to historians and others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I do not necessarily agree with Tripp¿s thesis that boys who enter puberty early have their first sex with other boys because girls are unavailable, I do wish that he had speculated more about that strapping teenager¿s trip down the Mississippi with a young man on a raft (like Huck and the runaway slave Jim ), and also what he might have done in that den of iniquity, New Orleans, before walking back home. I categorically deny that Abe had sexual lust for Anne Rutledge or any other woman in any case. No one can prove beyond reasonable doubt that he ever had sex with a male, but then no one can prove beyond reasonable doubt that George Washington ever had sex with a woman either. Why do we presume heterosexuality, even of married men? It matters very much if the Great Emancipator, most Americans¿ favorite president, had sex with males, and the notion that a homosexual (bisexual) couldn¿t have won the war is not only ridiculous but so weird that it would take a Lombrosian type to assert it and a homophobe to endorse it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Always refreshing to see our leadership on alternative paths.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read this book, and it is quite a good read. I was interested in the topic because of another book I read, 'America's Bachelor President and the First Lady,' by Milton Stern. In it he talks of Abraham Lincoln's predecessor, James Buchanan, 15th President, who apparently was lovers with America's only bachelor Vice President, William Rufus Devane King. From what I have gathered from both books, it was not unusual for men to engage in 'relations' with other men in the 1800s as personal lives were just that -- personal. This book about Lincoln is quite interesting and gives insight into the private life of our greatest president. I recommend the other book too.