by Edward Steers Jr.
Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2007. Pp. xvii, 264.
Illus., notes, biblio., index. $19.95 paper. ISBN: 978-0-8131-2466-7
In Lincoln Legends, Steers, author of
Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
and several other notable works on the president’s assassination and the conspirators, 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
Steers takes on claims such as that Lincoln was gay or illegitimate or a “born again” Christian,” and address questions such as whether Mrs. Lincoln secretly passed information to her Confederate kin, the authenticity of the Lincoln “homestead” that features prominently in a certain state part, and more. The book also deals with numerous bogus quotes attributed to Lincoln (something of a cottage industry among politicians and pundits), as well as myths surrounding the Gettysburg Address, his alleged love affairs with several women, and some questions about the assassination itself.
Enhanced with a very thoughtful introduction by noted Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer, Lincoln Legends will prove interesting, information, and amusing reading for anyone, not just those with a special interest in the 16th president.