In Lincoln book news

I was quite pleased (but not at all surprised) to hear that Michael Burlingame will receive the Lincoln Prize for his two-volume biography.  This was an award that was very much deserved. 

I think it’s going to be interesting to trace this book’s trajectory in the coming years.  Scholars seem to have accepted it as the definitive bio for this generation, and I have no doubt that it is.  Still, I wonder if its heft and price tag will intimidate interested readers.  Unless a trade publisher brings out a paperback edition, David Donald’s one-volume work may remain the go-to life of Lincoln for those who simply want to get to know the man.

Speaking of Lincoln books, check out this item from the Abraham Lincoln Observer (a blog you should be reading regularly if you aren’t already).  Apparently Bill O’ Reilly is working on an assassination book which offers “startling new information.”  His co-author is a sportswriter with far too much time on his hands.

ALO speculates that it might have something to do with the pages torn from Booth’s memorandum book, the same memorandum book from which Booth himself tore pages to be used as notes.  It doesn’t need explaining.

So not only will we be subjected to another conspiratorial history book, but one probably based on a non-issue and written by non-historians.  The last time this happened, a chemist tried to convince us that one of Lincoln’s own cabinet members orchestrated his murder.  We need another Lincoln conspiracy book like we need another teenage vampire movie.



Filed under Abraham Lincoln, Historiography

5 responses to “In Lincoln book news

  1. Michael:

    Thanks very much for the mention, and the link. And speaking of vampires, we probably don’t really need this either:

  2. Michael Lynch

    You’re quite welcome. I’ve got to admit, though, that I’m sorely tempted to read the vampire Lincoln book, just to see how the author manages to pull something like that off.

    I enjoy your blog very much. It’s one of the sites I make a point to visit daily.


  3. Frances Hunter

    To tell the truth, I spent about two days being depressed recently after I learned about the Lincoln vampire book. Why bother to spend years trying to write a good book when all the attention will go to something like this. Then I decided if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Maybe I should rewrite my new Lewis & Clark novel along these lines:


    La Louisiane—the epicenter of the vampire race on the North American continent. But the fate of the living and the living dead alike is on the line when young Vampire Genet of France arrives in America after having been awakened from a 6000-year sleep. Having struck out with the French Revolution, Genet is determined to destroy mankind once and for all by elevating himself and his chosen lover to the status of the gods.


    But whom will Genet choose? It’s anybody’s guess, as caught up this astonishing scheme are mortals like George Rogers Clark, the washed-up hero of the Revolution and unlikely commander of Genet’s vampire force; his beautiful sister Fanny, who switches bodies with George to save her brother’s soul; General “Mad Anthony” Wayne, an old vampire hunter who secretly hates everything about being human; and two young soldiers, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who dream of witnessing Creation and visiting Purgatory—only to become the pawns of a mysterious being masquerading among mankind, but who just might be the Devil himself.


    Anything could happen, from the exotic forts of Ohio to the erotic salons of Philadelphia, from the depravity of Natchez to the dark realm of Kentucky, where Lewis & Clark must persuade the Native Americans to divulge the wisdom of the talking animal spirits. Frances Hunter has written a page-turning tale of fire, devil worship, and the birth of a legendary American friendship—where magical powers and otherwordly fascinations are drawn together in a bewitching dance of seduction, death, and rebirth.

  4. Michael Lynch

    I think it’s got potential. I say go for it.


  5. Pingback: It doesn’t come out until September | Past in the Present

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