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Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and…
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Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with Our… (edició 2007)

de Edward Steers Jr., Harold Holzer (Introducció)

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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 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 sixteenth President. Did Abraham Lincoln write his greatest sp… (més)
Membre:winstonsmithlives
Títol:Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with Our Greatest President
Autors:Edward Steers Jr.
Altres autors:Harold Holzer (Introducció)
Informació:The University Press of Kentucky (2007), Edition: 1st Printing, Hardcover, 288 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Abraham Lincoln, Non-ficton, United States Presidents

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Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with Our Greatest President de Jr. Edward Steers

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"Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes and Confabulations Associated With Our Greatest President" by Edward Steer Jr. is an excellent addition to any historian's collection of Civil War-related tomes and yet, at the same time, it is easily accessible by non-Lincoln scholars as well.

The sections deal with many different myths and hoaxes that seem to surround our 16th President. The book begins with the fraud that is the Lincoln cabin, the "alleged" birthplace of the President. Its legitimacy is called into question by its shady and questionable past and uncertain provenance.

In other chapters, the hoax surrounding fabricated love letters between Lincoln and Ann Rutledge is revealed, even with this hoax, the unsupported illusion that Ann was Lincoln's "one great love" (addressed in another chapter) still refuses to die. Of course, according to one misguided historian, Lincoln was actually gay (supported only by reading into a few statements what he wanted to see) another myth easily dispensed with.

From "lost" drafts of the Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" to the shifting of authorship of the Bixby Letter, it certainly seems that interest in Lincoln and his writings hasn't diminished any in the last 150 years.

By far though, my favorite chapter was the "Noble American or Deceptive Doctor?" one about Doctor Samuel Mudd, the man who continues to be historically vilified for his role in helping John Wilkes Booth escape. In this chapter, Steers presents the case and proves BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, that Doctor Mudd was a traitor and deserved his punishment (the continued actions of his descendents to clear his name not withstanding) and in the opinion of this reader, should have hanged with Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt, he got off easy.

"Lincoln Legends" is a fascinating and engaging read. I recommend it to one and all. ( )
  ThothJ | Dec 4, 2015 |
"Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes and Confabulations Associated With Our Greatest President" by Edward Steer Jr. is an excellent addition to any historian's collection of Civil War-related tomes and yet, at the same time, it is easily accessible by non-Lincoln scholars as well.

The sections deal with many different myths and hoaxes that seem to surround our 16th President. The book begins with the fraud that is the Lincoln cabin, the "alleged" birthplace of the President. Its legitimacy is called into question by its shady and questionable past and uncertain provenance.

In other chapters, the hoax surrounding fabricated love letters between Lincoln and Ann Rutledge is revealed, even with this hoax, the unsupported illusion that Ann was Lincoln's "one great love" (addressed in another chapter) still refuses to die. Of course, according to one misguided historian, Lincoln was actually gay (supported only by reading into a few statements what he wanted to see) another myth easily dispensed with.

From "lost" drafts of the Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" to the shifting of authorship of the Bixby Letter, it certainly seems that interest in Lincoln and his writings hasn't diminished any in the last 150 years.

By far though, my favorite chapter was the "Noble American or Deceptive Doctor?" one about Doctor Samuel Mudd, the man who continues to be historically vilified for his role in helping John Wilkes Booth escape. In this chapter, Steers presents the case and proves BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, that Doctor Mudd was a traitor and deserved his punishment (the continued actions of his descendents to clear his name not withstanding) and in the opinion of this reader, should have hanged with Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt, he got off easy.

"Lincoln Legends" is a fascinating and engaging read. I recommend it to one and all. ( )
  ThothJ | Dec 3, 2015 |
"Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes and Confabulations Associated With Our Greatest President" by Edward Steer Jr. is an excellent addition to any historian's collection of Civil War-related tomes and yet, at the same time, it is easily accessible by non-Lincoln scholars as well.

The sections deal with many different myths and hoaxes that seem to surround our 16th President. The book begins with the fraud that is the Lincoln cabin, the "alleged" birthplace of the President. Its legitimacy is called into question by its shady and questionable past and uncertain provenance.

In other chapters, the hoax surrounding fabricated love letters between Lincoln and Ann Rutledge is revealed, even with this hoax, the unsupported illusion that Ann was Lincoln's "one great love" (addressed in another chapter) still refuses to die. Of course, according to one misguided historian, Lincoln was actually gay (supported only by reading into a few statements what he wanted to see) another myth easily dispensed with.

From "lost" drafts of the Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" to the shifting of authorship of the Bixby Letter, it certainly seems that interest in Lincoln and his writings hasn't diminished any in the last 150 years.

By far though, my favorite chapter was the "Noble American or Deceptive Doctor?" one about Doctor Samuel Mudd, the man who continues to be historically vilified for his role in helping John Wilkes Booth escape. In this chapter, Steers presents the case and proves BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, that Doctor Mudd was a traitor and deserved his punishment (the continued actions of his descendents to clear his name not withstanding) and in the opinion of this reader, should have hanged with Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt, he got off easy.

"Lincoln Legends" is a fascinating and engaging read. I recommend it to one and all. ( )
  ThothJ | Dec 3, 2015 |
With so many books and articles written about Abraham Lincoln over the last 150 years, and with the interest in Lincoln being so perpetually strong, it is inevitable that a number of mistaken stories have seeped into several biographies. "Mistaken," of course is often a polite term. Alongside a number of legends that have grown over the decades through incorrect remembrances and exaggerations are a number of outright fabrications.

Edward Steers Jr., a Lincoln historian most known for his research into the Lincoln assassination, wades into several of these stories in "Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with Our Greatest President." In this book, Steers focuses on fourteen such stories, considering how they are often told, where they originated, and what credence, if any, they should be given.

These stories touch on all time periods of Lincoln's life. Many, such as questions about Lincoln's paternity and his New Salem romance with Anne Rutledge, are well known. Others, like the person of Andrew Potter, who figures prominently in many of the recent conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination, are likely unknown by all except the most voracious students of Lincoln stories.

The opening chapter, focusing on the log cabin enshrined at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Memorial in Kentucky, shows the pattern of Steers' analysis. He first presents the most common form of a legendary story -- in this case, the veneration of this cabin. Then he carefully tells the history of the legend, which in the case of the birthplace cabin begins in 1895 (over 80 years after Lincoln's birth) with an entrepreneur named Alfred Dennett, who thought that he could turn Lincoln's birthplace into a profitable tourist attraction. The story of Dennett's efforts, which are stranger than fiction, is well told by Steers, who then offers testimony by those who have defended the cabin as being authentic and by those who have challenged those claims. Finally, Steers offers his conclusion, which is that the cabin is a fake.

Steers is an engaging author. He tells the stories well, with humor and a human touch. He then proves to be a fair arbiter, weighing the evidence and testimony before offering his conclusions. Several of the chapters are exceptionally well done, including the four legends he recounts regarding the assassination: the previously mentioned Andrew Potter saga, the involvement of Dr. Samuel Mudd in the conspiracy, the "missing" pages of Booth's diary, and questions surrounding the man who held Booth's horse outside Ford's Theatre that fateful night.

Occasionally, Steers is a bit quick to form an either/or judgment about one of the legends, leaving out slightly more complex options, especially around the recent furor of the claims that Lincoln was gay. These are generally harmless -- and I might add, I almost always fully agree with Steers' conclusions.

However, the chapter on Lincoln's paternity, in which Steers considers claims that Thomas Lincoln was not really Abraham Lincoln's biological father, omits one significant factor in that controversy, which explains its persistence if not its veracity -- Lincoln himself wondered whether he, or his mother, was an illegitimate child. The reasons for this seem a little uncharitable -- Lincoln felt that he was nothing like his father, especially intellectually, and so looked for another genetic source for his intelligence on both sides of his family tree -- but they are likely the reason that William Herndon, Lincoln's law partner and greatest early biographer, pursued the question. While Steers rightly believes that the illegitimacy stories are farfetched, he fails to name their key source -- Lincoln himself -- which will always be enough to lead some to investigate these claims.

On the whole, though, "Lincoln Legends" is a satisfying volume, helping readers sort out fact from fiction in Lincoln biography. It is clear and efficient, brimming with entertaining anecdotes. For those unfamiliar with Steers' other work -- including "Blood on the Moon," which is by far the best single book on Lincoln's assassination -- this book features the stamp of approval from Lincoln scholar de jure Harold Holzer, who provides the introduction. These readers will discover what Holzer and others know, that Steers is a first-rate historian whose considered views demand attention.

This review is also available at http://lincolniana.blogspot.com/2009/10/book-review-lincoln-legends-myths.html. ( )
2 vota ALincolnNut | Oct 8, 2009 |
Recommended for historians. Enjoyable read that deals with stories surrounding our 16th president. This book further reassures me that the world hasn't changed much in the past 3,000 years. We just see the awful things more and more due to the media. Well-written non-fiction book that touches all the people associated with Abraham Lincoln, including Dr. Samuel Mudd. ( )
  Wiszard | May 20, 2008 |
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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 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 sixteenth President. Did Abraham Lincoln write his greatest sp

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