Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated With Our Greatest PresidentBook - 2007
In the more than 140 years since his death, Abraham Lincoln has become America's most revered president. The mythmaking about this self-made man began early, some of it starting during his campaign for the presidency in 1860. As an American icon, Lincoln has been the subject of speculation and inquiry as authors and researchers have examined every aspect -- personal and professional -- of the president's life.
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. These inaccuracies and speculations about Lincoln's personal and professional life abound. Did he write his greatest speech on the back of an envelope on the way to Gettysburg? Did Lincoln appear before a congressional committee to defend his wife against charges of treason? Was he an illegitimate child? Did Lincoln have romantic encounters with women other than his wife? Did he have love affairs with men? What really happened in the weeks leading up to April 14, 1865, and in the aftermath of Lincoln's tragic assassination?
Lincoln Legends evaluates the evidence on all sides of the many heated debates about the Great Emancipator. Not only does Steers weigh the merits of all relevant arguments and interpretations, but he also traces the often fascinating evolution of flawed theories about Lincoln and uncovers the motivations of the individuals -- occasionally sincere but more often cynical, self-serving, and nefarious -- who are responsible for their dispersal.
Based on extensive primary research, the conclusions in Lincoln Legends will settle many of the enduring questions and persistent myths about Lincoln's life once and for all. Steers leaves us with a clearer image of Abraham Lincoln as a man, as an exceptionally effective president, and as a deserving recipient of the nation's admiration.